Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India

  • by Madhur Jaffrey
  • Narrated by Sumeet Bharati
  • 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Madhur (meaning sweet as honey) Jaffrey grew up in a large family compound by the Yamuna River in Delhi, where her grandfather often presided over dinners with 40 or more members of his extended family savoring together the wonderfully flavorful dishes that were forever imprinted on Madhur's palate. Whether climbing the mango trees in her grandparents' orchard, armed with a mixture of salt, pepper, ground red chilies, and roasted cumin, or picnicking in the Himalayan foothills on meatballs stuffed with raisins and mint, tucked into freshly baked spiced pooris, the tastes and textures of those childhood pleasures bring back memories of growing up.
Independent-minded, sensitive, and ever curious, Madhur as a child explored the history of her family and was deeply affected by their personal trials. Despite obstacles that her schooling imposed and an insecure adolescence, she emerged well educated and gifted in the arts, ready to explore new territory as the world she had known crumbled around her. Climbing the Mango Trees is both an enormously appealing account of an unusual childhood and a testament to the power of food in our lives to evoke memory. Although by the time it ends, when Madhur leaves India, she had never cooked a meal, it was that longing to taste again the flavors of her childhood that drove her into the kitchen - to become eventually the internationally acclaimed food writer that she is today.


What the Critics Say

"Jaffrey's graceful prose and sure powers of description paint a vivid landscape of an almost enchanted childhood. Her family and friends, the bittersweet sorrows of puberty, the sensual sounds and smells of the monsoon rain, all are remembered with love and care, but nowhere is her writing more evocative than when she details the food of her childhood, which she does often and at length." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great story - Poor Sound Recording!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The poor sound of the recording. Way too low and muffled sounding.

What did you like best about this story?

the story itself

Would you be willing to try another one of Sumeet Bharati’s performances?

Only if it was recorded better.

Was Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India worth the listening time?


Any additional comments?

I've never been moved to write about a poor recording before!

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- Tobey


Would you consider the audio edition of Climbing the Mango Trees: A Memoir of a Childhood in India to be better than the print version?

I just got this book after waiting for a few months and was quite thrilled to see familiar names and places mentioned. Being a distant family member, I am probably prejudiced but I think this book is a fascinating read, especially for someone brought up in Delhi. The book even has a family tree in the beginning, going back to the 1500s.

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Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios