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The Mistress of Spices
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
21 posts | 30 read | 28 to read
Magical, tantalizing, and sensual, The Mistress of Spices is the story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers. Once fully initiated in a rite of fire, the now immortal Tilo--in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman--travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives to her customers. An unexpected romance with a handsome stranger eventually forces her to choose between the supernatural life of an immortal and the vicissitudes of modern life. Spellbinding and hypnotizing, The Mistress of Spices is a tale of joy and sorrow and one special woman's magical powers. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, born in India, is an award-winning poet who teaches creative writing at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, where she also serves as president of MAITRI, a helpline for South Asian women. In 1995 her short story collection Arranged Marriage was awarded the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize for Fiction, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Fiction, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her fourth poetry collection, Leaving Yuba City, was published by Anchor in August 1997. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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review
atla
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Mehso-so

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has become a go-to author for me when I‘m in a slump, and when I want something lighter but still well-written and emotionally resonant. However, this one is the earliest novel I‘ve read of hers & my least favorite. The insta-love relationship drove me bonkers, and I almost put this down halfway through. I was glad to pick it back up, but the ending wasn‘t redeeming. Maybe I‘ll stick with her novels from 2010+

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atla
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Current reads! I initially put down The Mistress Of Spices at 40% and wasn‘t sure that I‘d finish, so I started Cutting for Stone. But last night, I picked Mistress back up and was so glad I did. Now the question is - which one do I read this evening? #bookwormproblems

Edit: I put them both in front of my cat, and he rubbed his face on Cutting for Stone, so I guess we‘ve got our answer! How do you decide when you‘re reading multiple books?

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Chrissyreadit
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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I‘m pretty sure this was the book I read and enjoyed (it would have been about 20 years ago) #spiceupyourlife #anglophileapril
Trying to remember the title led me to this article filled with books I want to read- I had no idea this is a sub genre of high interest to me!!! https://bookriot.com/2017/01/23/100-must-read-books-food-in-fiction/

ShyBookOwl I tend not to read food books because I'm afraid I'll get obsessive cravings 😂 9mo
GatheringBooks interesting! 😍🧚🏼‍♀️💕📚 9mo
Cinfhen I‘m loving all these sub genres you‘re discovering 🙌🏻❣️ 9mo
See All 10 Comments
Chrissyreadit @Cinfhen this has been one of the really fun unexpected outcomes of these prompts! 9mo
emilyhaldi Food fiction?! Now we're talking 🤤 9mo
BiblioLitten This was a good read but my favourite by her so far is 9mo
Chrissyreadit @BiblioLitten I‘m stacking that now! Thanks! 9mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m def intrigued by the title. 9mo
Reggie I love this author soooo much. @BiblioLitten Have you ever read Sister of My Heart by her. It‘s one of my top 5 books of my life. The follow up Sister of the Vine was pretty good too. And all her short story collections are great. I love Chitra so much!! (edited) 9mo
BiblioLitten @Reggie Sister of My Heart is a book that I always recommend to people, and it‘s beautiful novel. I didn‘t get a chance to read the follow up, maybe because the first one seemed so complete. 😊 9mo
89 likes2 stack adds10 comments
review
Keeweejenn
The Mistress Of Spices | Chitra Divakaruni
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Pickpick

Magical was truly a beautiful read

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batsy
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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RaimeyGallant This sounds fantastic. 2y
HOTPock3tt Is this the movie ashwariya rai made her USA debut? 🤔 or am I just wrong lol. I didn‘t see the movie, or read the book so I‘m not sure... 2y
Cinfhen 😊👍🏻 2y
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LauraBrook Liked the movie but have yet to read this. Adding to the list... 2y
batsy @RaimeyGallant @LauraBrook I read it almost 20 years ago so I can't remember much at all, but I do remember liking it ☺️ 2y
batsy @HOTPock3tt Yes, she was in the movie! I didn't watch it but that's the right one 😁 2y
Reggie I had no idea this was made into a movie but I love Chitra. Sister of My Heart is in my top 5 books. She has phenomenal short story collections. I love, love, love her. 2y
batsy @Reggie I haven't read her short stories, I will check it out! 2y
rohit-sawant Perfect pick! 2y
Reviewsbylola Looks good! 2y
Mdargusch Haha! Perfect 👌🏼 2y
emilyhaldi Nailed it 👌🏻 2y
BiblioLitten @batsy same. I read it long back and remember liking it. I could almost smell all the spices! 2y
GatheringBooks oohlala! didn‘t know about this at all and i am so stacking it!! 2y
98 likes4 stack adds15 comments
review
book.s
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Mehso-so

The Mistress of spices by By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

The lure of a small island across the seas beckons, and Tilo calls on the ocean snakes to lay her at the feet of the Old One.

Divakaruni writes so lyrically and weaves her tale so intricately, you begin to believe in the spices and their healing properties. Immigrant experience is dealt with rather obliquely, buried in a wondrous fairy tale in sacks of aromatic spices.

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Raminga
La Maga delle spezie | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Pickpick

💖🌟💖
Io sono una maga delle spezie.
So usare anche il resto. Minerali, metallo, terra, e sabbia, e pietra. Le gemme splendenti di luce fredda e limpida. I liquidi che ti accendono gli occhi di bagliori variopinti finchè non riesci più a vedere altro. Ho imparato tutto sull‘isola.
Ma la mia passione sono le spezie.
🌟💖🌟

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Agabriv
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Mehso-so

It was ok.

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elkeo_TheBookDragon
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Mehso-so

While I was attracted to the premise of a magical mistress of spices and the way this is absolutely packed with a mix of cultures and immigrant stories, the overly poetic language simply got in the way for me. I say this knowing perfectly well that is exactly what others may love! So decide how you feel about flowery poetics and a few plot holes, and then dive in.
If you like 😉
#sirensreadingchallenge

Cinfhen Great photo and fabulous review💕 2y
LeahBergen I have a thing for Le Creuset orange. 😍 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon @LeahBergen I did not *need* it, but this 🔥Flame 🔥 color is awesome 😁 (edited) 2y
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batsy Oh yes. Her writing is not for me 😉 2y
minkyb I have a thing for any piece of Le Creuset! 2y
Jess_Read_This Your Le Creuset is lovely. Your review sounds spot on and a fair representation of the book! 2y
58 likes6 comments
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Chelsibno
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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I still need to read this book by an amazing #SouthAsianWriter. #SouthAsianWriters #AndItsAugust @RealLifeReading

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elkeo_TheBookDragon
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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These are the titles I MUST read in the next 2 months prior to attending the Sirens conference in October. So I stacked them in an obvious pile to stare me down & remind me daily. The top 4 (+ 1 more to be ordered) will complete the #sirensreadingchallenge and the other 4 will be discussed there as well. While I want to read them, I am not loving the pressure! Silly me keeps looking at all my other TBR titles in longing.
I need to FOCUS!

Lindy You've got some great reading in that stack. I loved Chime and Mistress of Spices. 2y
Kalalalatja If it helps, I really liked 2y
brilliantglow So many of those are on my tbr. But I have to finish my #readharder before I can start any of them. But I'm almost done just 4 more books! But the longing to read other books is more distracting the closer I get. 2y
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Foragingfantasy Ooooh!! A few of these are on my tbr too! Read The Bear and the Nightingale first! It's quick and I loved it. I have Chime, haven't read it yet. I have the top one on hold at the library! 2y
Jess_Read_This I've had The Bone Witch chilling on my Kindle for awhile now... I'll read it if you do! 🙈 (edited) 2y
Leftcoastzen Really curious about 5th season. 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon @Leftcoastzen I have only heard that it is life-changingly great. 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon @Jess_Read_This Deal! Our first buddy read! 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon @Foragingfantasy That is why this challenge seemed a no-brainer - I already had or wanted to read most of them! 2y
readinginthedark Awesome! I wish I could go!!! Maybe next year? 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon @readinginthedark I will definitely let you how it goes! Sounds like it will be a record turnout this year 🙀 2y
readinginthedark @elkeo Well, they definitely had people putting the word out this year on blogs, Litsy, and podcasts. I heard about it on all three! 2y
moranadatter Chime is amazing! 2y
vanesdigregorio The Fifth Season is AMAZING!! 2y
62 likes1 stack add14 comments
review
DragonSadhana
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Pickpick

This book only has a 3.48 rating on Goodreads, but I gave it four stars. I enjoyed the lyrical prose while some may find it too purple. I thought the story was both beautiful and complex. It gave me some insight into what it may mean to be Indian and living in America. I'm glad I ignored the poor rating and read it.
#sirensreadingchallenge

TobeyTheScavengerMonk There's a movie too, starring Aishwarya Rai. 3y
elkeo_TheBookDragon This is on my sirens TBR too - I somehow never read back in the day when it was a bestseller. Glad you liked it! 👍 3y
DragonSadhana @TobeyTheScavengerMonk Thanks for letting me know that! I'll look for it. 👍🏾 3y
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DragonSadhana @elkeo I didn't realize it was a bestseller! I'm terrible at paying attention to the book lists. 3y
elkeo_TheBookDragon It was back in the 1990s 😺 3y
BookFreakOut Goodreads ratings are so skewed, nothing wrong with three stars for "I liked it!" I used to give every book I liked 5 stars but have gotten more honest lately. 3y
DragonSadhana @BookFreakOut I'm learning that more and more! 3y
21 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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RealLifeReading
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Join me, won't you?

(Although I'm guessing plenty of you are already doing the same. It is Inauguration Day after all - although the only part I've bothered to see are all those Michelle memes)

Cheers!

britt_brooke Naturally. 🙋🏼🍺🍻 3y
mklong Yep! 🍷 3y
KimM 🍷🍷🍷🍷 3y
See All 9 Comments
MallenNC Michelle represented me at today's event 3y
rachelm I drank a healthy glass of wine 3y
obviateit I ate two plates of carbs for dinner. Close enough? 😂 3y
thec0zy Wine and Michelle memes were my indulgences too! No inauguration coverage for me either 😨 3y
Megld4 Ice cream and the Michelle memes for me. (edited) 3y
Pruzy Nice! A dark flavourful beer! I can get behind that! 3y
144 likes2 stack adds9 comments
review
ChiaraMuz
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Pickpick

Amazing trip into the magic of India.

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Centique
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Pickpick

This is a magical book. It reads almost like a dream. Tilo is a wise woman, an immigrant to the US from India. We get to experience the lives of the customers who come into her shop through the powers of the spices she sells. And Tilo herself is not what she seems. It's magical realism, lyrical and highly sensory. Not linear enough for some of my friends but a spicy twisty tale for everyone else!

Bette Love your picture. 📸❤️👍 3y
Centique @Bette thank you! I racked my brain for a bit that's for sure 😄 3y
lynneamch LOVE pictures like this. Thank you for making me smile. ☺ 3y
Centique @lynneamch thank you! I never thought how much fun creating pictures to go with books could be until I came to Litsy. 💕 I was lost for this one 😂 3y
37 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Erynecki
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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I'm about a third of the way through The Mistress of Spices. I think one might say it's magical realism. It's so different from my typical book choice...it makes for a hyper aware reading experience. The book's primary setting is in Oakland, I am reading it in Oakland, and I keep thinking about this Oakland store, Homestead Apothecary.

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JSW
The Mistress of Spices: A Novel | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Pickpick

Beautiful writing, story. This author writes modern mythology. #readwomen

BookishFeminist I didn't know she had other books! I just checked out 3y
JSW @BookishFeminist oh my goodness, she has many many books! You have lots of good reading ahead of you. 3y
14 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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luciagreg
La Maga delle spezie | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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TheLondonBookworm 😯 That typewriter is gorgeous, I want one!!! Where did you find it?? 3y
luciagreg @TheLondonBookworm This typewriter was of my gradfather, It was 1950 📇🖋 3y
TheLondonBookworm @luciagreg That's amazing, it's beautiful :) 3y
4 likes3 comments
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luciagreg
La Maga delle spezie | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Una trama intrigante che conduce a leggere il libro tutto d'un fiato

1 like1 stack add
quote
Inad
La Maga delle spezie | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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"La notte avvolta nella sua splendida stola di stelle spesso inganna - soprattutto quando desideriamo che qualcosa sia proprio come sogniamo. Soltanto la luce imparziale del giorno ci costringe ad affrontare la quotidiana realtà dei fatti."

Inad Il film è molto, molto, molto ma molto meglio del libro.?..di una pesantezza unica dalla prima parola all'ultima. La cosa più fastidiosa è sicuramente stata quella di cercare in continuazione sul glossario alla fine del libro il significato dei vari e fin troppo frequenti termini non tradotti. Mettere delle note a fondo pagina no?! Lo sconsiglierò a chiunque mi chieda di esprimere un parere.? 3y
2 likes1 comment
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Inad
La Maga delle spezie | Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Colazione con biscotti, cappuccino e spezie.😁