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Extended Audio Sample The Saffron Kitchen, by Yasmin Crowther Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,560 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Yasmin Crowther Narrator: Ariana Fraval, Mehr Mansuri Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this powerful debut, Yasmin Crowther paints a stirring portrait of a family shaken by events from decades ago and a world away. On a blustery day in London, the dark secrets and troubled past of Maryann Mazar surface violently, with tragic consequences for her daughter, Sara, and her newly orphaned nephew, Saeed. Consumed with guilt, Maryann leaves her suburban home and mild English husband to return to Mazareh, the remote village on Iran’s northeast border where her own story began. There she must face her past and the memories of a life she was forced to leave behind when she was young, headstrong, and beautiful.

Back in England, Sara tries to understand what could have compelled her mother to leave. Together with Saeed and her distraught father, she begins to unearth Maryann’s story from amid her memories of opium poppies, family lore, and fragments of conversation, photographs, and a few lines of poetry. In her quest to piece her life back together, Sara follows her mother to Iran to discover the roots of her unhappiness and to try and bring her home.

A rich and haunting narrative, The Saffron Kitchen tells of betrayal and retribution, of secrets that can lie undisturbed for decades, of the pain of exile, and the bittersweet joy of homecoming.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Saffron Kitchen has a dreamlike quality that gradually draws in and washes over a reader. USA Today
  • A fine novel of cultural and generational tension. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • A moving look at the plight of the immigrant torn between two homes. The Christian Science Monitor
  • With richly descriptive language evoking the riotous streets of Iran to the comfortable London suburbs, Crowther's well-crafted narrative will keep readers eagerly turning the pages of this poetic debut about mothers and daughters. PAGES
  • Beautiful . . . A heartfelt story about unbreakable family bonds. Entertainment Weekly
  • A wonderfully intricate debut novel . . . exploring the potency of heritage and the pain of exile. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Crowther's debut is spellbinding, and her cross-cultural perception and empathy are illuminating and affecting. Booklist
  • An unusual and satisfying read. The Guardian, London
  • A book about edges . . . where unconscious drives become seemingly rational decisions; and where different cultural values confront each other . . . Crowther [is] a novelist of exceptional honesty and grace. The Sunday Telegraph, London

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kelly | 2/12/2014

    " It was interesting and I liked it well enough, but the flow was a little off for me and parts felt overly dramatic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Larry | 2/3/2014

    " MOving book very sad --what a sick society in Iran "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Megan Ferguson | 2/3/2014

    " I read this in one day...couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ludene | 1/25/2014

    " Just started this for our book club. More info. to come. "

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