The last book that I finished in 2008.
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Pomegranate Soup: A novel by Mesha Mehran
The Aminpour sisters from Iran arrives in the small village Ballinacroagh in Ireland. Having fled some years ago from the turmoil of Iran the sisters thinks of the village as a safe haven.
Marjan Aminpour along side her younger sisters Bahar and Layla have bought an old pasty shop and decides to creating a Persian cafe called Babylon. The scents of cinnamon, rosebuds and cardamon float out into the streets and changes the lives of the people in the village. A people fed on boiled cabbage and Guinness.
The local "king" of the village, Thomas McGuire is not happy about the new cafe. He allready owns most of the town and he wanted the shop for himself. He is set in his ways and he wants that space at all costs.
Marjan starts her cooking, and the reader gets 11 recipes along the way. Bahran learns to forget the past and young Layla will find love.
Their first guest to the cafe is Father Fergal Mahoney and after awhile more follow, among them the previous owner Estell Delmecio who sees in the sisters the children she never got, and the villages hairdresser Fiona who has her own reasons to dislike Thomas McGuire. The sisters has some welocmed friend in a village that looks on them like intruders.
Can they hide from their past in Iran or will it come back to haunt them and break the peaceful lives they try to build for themselves?
This a lovely and rich book that make you long for good food and company. Mehrans language flows and her words come at an ease. It's a book that is hard to put down and I loved it from the start. You can read it for several reasons, a look back at 80-s Ireland, 70-s Iran, a way to find new recipes, to read about friendship or love, or just to enjoy all of these things that come together in a great mix.