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Pomegranate Soup
Marsha Mehran
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Pomegranate Soup (Babylon Café #1)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  2,630 ratings  ·  438 reviews
„Lesen & Kochen“ – eine unschlagbar köstliche Kombination!

Ausgerechnet in einem abgelegenen irischen Städtchen eröffnen drei junge persische Schwestern ein Restaurant für Spezialitäten aus ihrer Heimat. Anfangs noch misstrauisch, werden die Einheimischen jedoch schon bald durch die exotisch duftenden Speisen der bezaubernden Köchinnen betört. Doch erst bei einem gemein
Published (first published January 1st 2005)
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Nov 15, 2008 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love to cook and read
Recommended to Rebecca by: Holyn
This book was very wonderful for what it was--a delicious mixture of food and the personal journeys of three sisters who escape Iran on the eve of the revolution and eventually make their way to Ireland. This book pleasantly reminded me of another book about the magic of food from another culture--The Mistress of Spices.

We learn of the sisters' experiences in Iran through flashbacks throughout the book, and I really appreciated Mehran's light touch in her descriptions of the sisters' painful me
Pixietweet Clip
I hated every second of this pseudo magic realist ouevre. The writing is trying so hard to be eloquent and poetic but it's totally Hallmark. The writer graduated from the adjective school of writing. Yuck. Then again it's an easy read if you're in bed with the flu.

on the plus side: great recipes. little glimpse into both Iranian and Irish life.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Sometimes it is good to suspend belief and surrender your imagination to a form of magical realism which can transcend cultural barriers.
Three orphaned sisters, who fled Iran seven years earlier, have found their way to a small town in Ireland where they hope to make a home. They bring with them their heritage, their demons and their hopes for a better future. Marjan, Bahar and Layla open the Babylon Cafe in the heart of Ballinacroagh’s Main Mall. The smell of traditional Persian cooking wafting
This was a delicious summer read. Part "Journey from the Land of No", part "The Taste of Chocolate", Marsha Mehran tells a magical tale of 3 sisters who change the village of Ballinacroagh, Ireland when they move to town after fleeing the Iranian revolution. In the process of becoming part of the community and influencing the people who live there, they begin to come to terms with their own painful past. Each chapter starts with a recipe for a Persian delicacy which is incorporated into the stor ...more
Aug 04, 2008 Tina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love to cook and read
Journey with the Aminpour sisters as they embark on a new chapter of their lives in Marsha Mehran’s novel, Pomegranate Soup. Marjan, Bahar and Layla escape amidst the Iran Revolution and open up the Babylon Café in a small Irish village where they awaken sleeping dreams and ignite new possibilities. Anyone who has been an outsider in a close-knit community can relate to the sisters who are faced with suspicion and discrimination in their new home. Moreover, they continue to be haunted by the pas ...more
Feb 25, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For fans of Chocolat or Like Water for Chocolate
Set in the 1980s, three Iranian sisters set up a cafe in an Irish village to escape demons from the Iranian Revolution. First viewed with suspicion by most of the village, the sisters slowly carve a place for themselves. Lush descriptions of food and sympathetic characters make this an enjoyable and quick read. I am pleased to see that the author's second book is coming out in May 2008.
Jan 16, 2008 Cynthia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Fabulous story of Iranian women fleeing the revolution who land in a small Irish town. Food figures in it similar to the way it does in"Like Water for Chocolate". It borders on magical realism (Irish-Iranian magical realism?)The moral of the story is that we all must change and move on in our lives. the past is always behind us and the future ahead.
This charming book is set in small-town Ireland in the 1980s. It centers around a trio of sisters who have made their way from Iran after the revolution. They're haunted by their pasts, but they're also blazing a trail for a new, more cosmopolitan Ireland as they open a restaurant and broaden the horizons of the townspeople. It's reminiscent of Maeve Binchy, but with a more exotic flair (complete with recipes). A light read.
This was an easy to read, enjoyable book. I loved the food/recipe tie-ins and found myself wanting to learn more about Persian culture and cuisine when I was finished. I like to author's gentle approach to the story and I felt like the characters were real, with the exception of the bad guy, who seemed too bitter and hateful to me. Very pleasant overall!
I thought this was a lovely book. A charming story full of life, about three Iranian sisters who move to an Irish village in the 1980s and start up a café of Iranian food, creating irritation in some villagers and enthusiasm in many others. The story is warm and human, and the description of the foods and the spices almost makes me smell and taste them myself! They also sounded so delicious that I had to scan all the recipes in the beginning of the chapters so that I might try some of them mysel ...more
I was on the waiting list at the library to borrow this book for AGES, weeks and weeks, and when i finally got the chance to read it, i knocked it over in a couple of days. Its a quick, simple read, but i really enjoyed it. Ive recently discovered what is known as 'food fiction', which this book falls under, and i really love the concept.

The story of three Iranian girls who escape the Iranian revolution in the 1970s and move to Ireland to set up a cafe, i loved every second of this book. I wasn
Enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend. How do three sisters from Iran end up in an Irish village? You'll have to read it to find out. The storyline kept me pulled in and although I felt the middle sister's story was left a bit unresolved, I still liked it. The descriptive prose that the author uses to describe food kind of made me hungry for something different other than the usual koobideh kabobs I order when I have Persian food hehe. Sometimes, though, the author was *so* descriptiv ...more
This book would be great to add to the global perpectives curriculum at school. Interesting book in that it shows the culture of people in a different country. Three sisters flee from the revolution in Iran in the late 70s. They settle in Ireland which I thought was a most unlikely place for them. But they open the Bombay Cafe and try to start a new life. The most interesting parts of the book for me were the flashbacks to their life in Iran and the escape to Ireland, although their start in lif ...more
Book Concierge
Three sisters flee Tehran for a small town in Ireland. When Marjan, Behar and Layla take over the former Papa’s Pastries to open Ballinacroagh’s first “foreign” restaurant, they are met with curious gazes and even hostility. Tom McGuire, their next-door neighbor, is furious that his big plans have been thwarted by these “Arabs” and he is determined to bully everyone in town until they girls are run off. But he doesn’t count on the magical powers of the Marjan’s exotic recipes, and the intoxicati ...more
Bibi Rose
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Sep 05, 2007 Adrienne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
I really enjoyed this book and its insight to both the Persian and Irish cultures. The author presents very interesting and entertaining character descriptions, although sometimes I wondered why she went into such depth on descriptions of minor characters, but overall I really appreciated the character descriptions. The food was another character, and that was very well described -- I already had an appreciation for Persian cuisine, and these descriptions made me want to hurry to my favorite Per ...more
There are several book clubs reading this book so, with nothing in front of me, I decided to try this quick read. What I discovered is that it does something I cannot stand in a book, which is to have an issue surface during a chapter only to have it immediately resolved. It's like the author thinks, "hm, how can I have the town bully turn good? Oh I know, I'll do this..." Or, "why should this rapist change his ways? Ok, I'll just say this..." To me, it is the poorest of all writing and, while I ...more
This story involves 3 Iranian sisters who have fled to Ireland after the revolution. They try to rebuild their lives opening a cafe in a small town. Small town life gives them the hiding place they need, but also brings on tensions between themselves and the residents.

The story starts a bit slow, but soon picks up. The characters are wonderful and a bit quirky, which I like. Their is a bit of mysticism mixed in with the culinary delights. The story reminded me a bit of Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Jun 06, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies, cooks, and anyone who likes a little magical realism.
Shelves: food-and-cooking
If you liked Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate or Under the Tuscan Sun, all books where the sensual pleasures of cooking and food are celebrated, you will like Pomegratate Soup.
It's the story of three Iranian expatriate sisters who move to a tiny town in Ireland after spending years in England. They open a restaurant featuring the foods of their native land. Some residents of the village welcome them, while others, for a variety of reasons, distrust and dislike them.
I understand a sequel is be
I just finished the book a few minutes ago and absolutely loved it. It started off a bit slow, but quickly picked up and was reminiscent of Chocolat, as the story revolves around cooking and a cafe set up in a small town by 3 out-of-towners. I especially was interested in the parts that took place in Iran and wished it had gone more in depth; also the relations between the townspeople and the 3 foreign women were interesting. The book was lovely and I'm going to copy the recipes and give a coupl ...more
I had the feeling I have read so many stories like this; displaced cooks trying to make their way in a foreign country (Iranians in Ireland) and of course everyone hates them... Eventually someone softens and then gradually it all comes right.Lots of descriptions of food aromas!
A lovely lighthearted read about a family of three Iranian sisters who move to a small town in Ireland. They set up a cafe selling Persian food and the sights, smells and tastes of the food they prepare permeates the book. THe obvious issues of 'fitting in' are explored and some of the small minded townspeople do their best to ostracise the sisters. Structurally this book isn't a masterpiece but it achieves its purpose. Best of all each chapter starts with a recipe of the dish that the sisters m ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. The history of the Aminpour sisters' experiences and escape from Iran during the revolution and the Persian recipes woven into the story were both very interesting. The narrator's opinions about Ireland, where the sisters eventually settle and open a cafe, seemed tainted with narrow mindedness, possibly the author's own prejudices. And the conclusion of the novel seemed slapped together. Still, I did root for the Aminpour sisters and the success of their Ba ...more
Luke Sherwood
Not everyone in Marsha Mehran’s Pomegranate Soup is sweet-tempered, but the story itself bursts with the sweetness of family, charity, and excellent food. Capturing the harrowing history of three Iranian sisters who just manage to escape the country during the revolution of 1979, the narrative finds them, seven years on, in what seems like their last chance at refuge, on the west coast of Ireland.

The citizens of this town fit into some fairly straightforward types: the town magnate/bully; an old
Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran is an infectious, witty, humane story of magic realism. Set in a quaint Irish village called Ballinacroagh, it revolves around three sisters who have escaped the revolution in Iran - Bahar, Layla, and Marjan. Haunted by a violent past, the three foreigners treat Ballinacroagh as the refuge they long for in their life - with a restaurant called Babylon cafe that serves exotic Persian food.

There is nothing thought-provoking about Pomegranate Soup. The writing is f
Warning: the food descriptions in this book will make you salivate.
I really enjoyed this book until about the last 20 pages. The story was incredible, the interweaving of two strikingly different cultures was thought-provoking, and of course the details about the Iranian revolution gave the tone a layer of depth that contrasted amazingly with the cafe-life in small town Ireland. I loved all three sisters in different ways but most especially Bahar. I think because I'm also the middle child, her
Afsaneh Hojabri
Enchanting as a fairy tale, it is the culinary adventures of three Iranian sister in a remote town in Ireland when the population had not yet been exposed to non-western immigrants; the three young and beautiful sisters succeed in charming the residents with their hospitality, warmth and mouth watering Persian foods that they prepare and offer in their cozy little home restaurant; the book contains lots of excellent recipes as well.
I wanted to like this.
The premise appealled to me.

But, Joanne Harris has written the same book, and she has done it so much better. The author didn't move far enough from other books about women who go and build community, against opposition, through food.

Also, the characters were not well-developed. I knew them, in the way you'd pass and wave, not in a way that rang true for me or made me feel empathy for them.
My copy of the book has a better cover...but if you want to read a cultural book with a good ending on a weekend, this book will keep you laughing and reflecting on creative prose. Mehran's descriptions of her neighbors, fear of the unknown, forbidden and first love and unfortunately, domestic abuse are relevant across all walks of life. If you love cooking or have specific comfort foods, you'll relate to this book.
Three Iranian sisters move to small town Ireland to start over....that is the premise of this book. Mehran then weaves in the magic of Persian food and lore to make this story sing. It's a little like Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, but I enjoyed every minute of this read. The inclusion of recipes for each of the dishes was interesting to me as well - makes me want to try Persian food (lamb and all).
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Marsha Mehran escaped the upheaval of the Iranian revolution with her family. She grew up in the United States, Australia and Argentina, where her parents operated a Middle Eastern café. She lived in both Brooklyn and Ireland.
More about Marsha Mehran...

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