Book Review : The Mistress of spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I had been reading a lot lately, but somehow never reviewed any and left it for later. Later never comes, so I have decided to review the book on the day I finish.

“Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni” I had come across this author through Blogchatter A to Z, 2018 where she was a mentor. Her books have won many accolades and this particular “The mistress of Spices” has been made into a movie, starring Aishwarya Rai. The book has also been shortlisted for Orange Prize . I did not know about all this till now. I am always in search of new authors to read, and this book one is her first, so that was my reasoning for choosing this one.

The story is about “Tilo” a mysterious woman with power, magic and foresight. The story is set in California where she owns a spice store. It’s not a usual store, but the spices here talk to her and tell her how to help others. The author spins an aura around her, but at the heart of this powerful woman is a little insecure girl like all of us, who is sensitive and wants normal things. She breaks all the rules, and is finally left powerless as a human.

The book was a difficult read for me. The author has written it in a flowery language, a combination of poetry and prose, blending magic and reality. The book may be a good read for literature critics, university courses, but it was definitely not for me. I finished it in around a week, which is quite unusual for me, as once I get hooked to a story, I can’t put the book down.

The author brings out nicely her inner turmoil, especially when she falls in love. Also, through her she narrates the life of immigrants. Lalita’s story .. domestic violence is nicely brought out. Through Geeta, she brings out the turmoil of second generation who is more American than Indian. Through Jagjit, she brings the story of Bullying in schools and the consequences. The author has tried to focus on too many issues at the same time, at time confusing the reader.

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.

Kindle price : Rs 300 approx

Paperback : Rs 500 approx

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