The Saffron Kitchen

  • by Yasmin Crowther
  • Narrated by Mehr Mansuri, Ariana Fraval
  • 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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What the Critics Say

"Absorbing family drama...an unusual and satisfying read." (The Guardian)
"The Saffron Kitchen marks Yasmin Crowther out as a novelist of exceptional honesty and grace." (Daily Telegraph)
"Crowther's debut is spellbinding, and her cross-cultural perception and empathy are illuminating and affecting." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Truly Rich and Haunting

This audiobook has two excellent narrators, which beautifully reflected the thoughts and experiences of the mother and daughter of the story. I was transported to the dusty, tiny village in Iran through the descriptive and skilled writing of the author, as well as the streets of London. This was a very good story, and indeed it was haunting as well as compelling. I love how the story unfolded, as we learned more and more about Maryann’s past. I grieved with Sara as she tried to heal from her personal tragedy, and then enjoyed seeing Iran through her eyes. My heart broke for her father as he tried to cope with life as it was left to him. I highly recommend this book!

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- Kathryn "I've been an avid, constant reader since I learned to read at age 5. I ALWAYS have a book going while quilting, cross-stitching, or painting"

Entertaining and Educational

This book takes place in England and Iran--the latter of which was totally foreign to me. I appreciated the separate reading voices--both the young British daughter and the heavy accent of her Iranian-born mother. The touch of brief interludes of appropriate music helped to transition the reader from one country and person to the other. I loved getting acquainted with the various customs and people in a land so far away.
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- J. Tiefel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2007
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio