The Resource Rosewater and soda bread : a novel, Marsha Mehran

Rosewater and soda bread : a novel, Marsha Mehran

Rosewater and soda bread : a novel
Rosewater and soda bread
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Marsha Mehran
Rosewater and soda bread
The arrival of a mysterious young woman in possession of a dark secret has a profound impact on the lives of the inhabitants of Ballinacroagh, including the three Aminpour sisters, each of whom is going through her own transformation
  • Mehran resumes the tale of the Aminpour sisters so vividly portrayed in Pomegranate Soup (2006). The three refugee Iranian young women have now become fixtures in the Irish hamlet of Ballinacroagh, where they run a popular café serving fine Persian food to plain-eating Celtic townsfolk. Thanks to articles written by a local newspaperman, their little eatery has garnered national notice. The women's quotidian contentment gets upended when a rural widow reports finding a girl bleeding and wounded on the beach. This waif's odd webbed fingers make her seem a virtual mermaid. Mehran offers insights into the nascent nation of Asian and South European immigrants seeking futures in the Emerald Isle. As these outlanders gain recognition, the native population reacts ambivalently. For all their robust living, Mehran's Irish are a familiar and universal mix of libido and repression, piety and profanity, xenophobia and generosity. -- Knoblauch, Mark (Reviewed 05-15-2008) (Booklist, vol 104, number 18, p23)
  • Mehran’s second novel (after Pomegranate Soup ) resumes the story of three Iranian sisters making their lives anew in smalltown Ireland. Beautiful and creative Marjan Aminpour cares for her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla; together the three run Babylon Cafe, and few locals can resist its charms or the amiability of its proprietresses. Although Marjan rules the roost, her sisters have secrets of their own, and their growing independence forces Marjan to allow them their freedom and confront her own needs—especially after she meets handsome Julian Winthrop Muir. As Marjan gives her sisters more space, the suspicious and xenophobic local busybody Dervla Quigley remains determined to uncover whatever foul play the “foreign women” have up their sleeves. And when Marjan’s friend Estelle reveals that she has rescued and helped a drowning girl, Marjan becomes involved in a secret that soon has Dervla plotting their downfall. Gourmands will savor the foodie passages (recipes, of course, are included), while the sisters’ exploits will win over readers into lighter fare about making a new home and growing up. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 10, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 10, p59)
  • Mehran's second novel (Pomegranate Soup, 2005) returns to Ballinacroagh, County Mayo, circa 1987, and the thriving Babylon Caf where food is sustenance for the soul.The Aminpour sisters from Iran are happily running their caf, where oldest sister Marjan cooks according to Zoroastrian tenets that connect ingredients closely to spiritual as well as physical health. Marjan has carried the responsibility for her younger sisters' care since their flight from revolution-torn Iran a decade earlier. One sister, Bahar, who keeps the caf sparkling clean, is a sensitive girl whose brief marriage to a brutal Muslim fundamentalist left her emotionally scarred. Layla, meanwhile, is a schoolgirl obsessed with Much Ado About Nothing and in love with her boyfriend, university student Malachy. Beloved by most of the villagers, the sisters are not without certain enemies—among them the sour widow Dervla Quigley, who spies on the caf from her window across the street. This sequel to Pomegranate Soup finds each sister now facing her own secret challenge. Bahar has been meeting with Father Mahoney about converting to Catholicism. Layla is considering consummating her relationship with Malachy, much to Marjan's consternation, and Marjan, whose first love affair ended tragically in Iran, finds herself attracted to a new suitor, Julian Muir, a novelist and student of Rumi who has returned to Ballinacroagh to renovate his family estate. Meanwhile Estelle Delmonico, the elderly Italian immigrant who sold her late husband's bakery to the Aminpours, which they then turned into the caf, has retired to her country cottage. Out walking one morning, she finds a half-drowned girl who has attempted an abortion, illegal in Ireland. Estelle embroils herself and Marjan in the risky adventure of saving the girl and finding her family before the authorities crack down. Humanistic goodwill, tinged with spirituality, overcomes fundamentalist rigidity, while the closing pages—not counting the inevitable recipes—hint at another installment to come.This time Mehran adds too much sugar to the recipe. (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2008)
Cataloging source
Dewey number
no index present
Literary form
Target audience
Marsha Mehran
Rosewater and soda bread : a novel, Marsha Mehran
Recipes and reader's guide included
Control code
21 cm.
292 p.

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
    84 East Winter Street, Delaware, OH, 43015
    40.299672 -83.064923
  • Orange BranchBorrow it
    7171 Gooding Blvd., Delaware, OH, 43015
    40.190037 -83.027387
  • Ostrander BranchBorrow it
    75 North Fourth Street, Ostrander, OH, 43061
    40.267330 -83.216989
  • Powell BranchBorrow it
    460 South Liberty Street, Powell, OH, 43065
    40.149379 -83.073659
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