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The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran
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The Temporary Bride: A Memoir of Love and Food in Iran

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  170 reviews
"A relationship was a mathematical formula: the correct variables of age, beauty, morality and finances were entered and the output was a successful, peaceful marriage. It couldn’t be, therefore, that their Iranian son could feel desire for someone six years his senior, someone who didn’t come to him pure and untouched. I was an amusing visitor from another world and soon ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by Virago Press Ltd
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  770 ratings  ·  170 reviews

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Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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yaaftan (n.): Persian word meaning to find something beautiful in a place where it is least expected or where you had to struggle.

This was a darling little book! It touched on all of the subjects I enjoy reading about most: travel, food, Iran, and looooove. Sigh. I almost don’t want to write anything about it because Klinec unveils herself to readers page by page. You’ll eventually learn where she was born, which countries her parents emigrated from, and how she eventually finds herself glob
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I’m struggling to figure out what bothered me about The Temporary Bride. It is a brief memoir written by the Canadian born author who travels to Iran for the purpose of learning about Iranian cooking but ends up in a forbidden love type of relationship. While learning to cook in the home of an Iranian woman, Klinec and the woman’s son fall into a clandestine relationship. There are things I liked about The Temporary Bride: Klinec’s description of her childhood as the child of immigrants in Ontar ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, iran, food-memoir
This is an interesting little memoir about a young woman who grew up in Ontario and had happy memories of her mother cooking her native food from Yugoslavia. Her mother stopped cooking elaborate meals when their business took off, but Jen forever afterwards sought out interesting foods and cultural traditions surrounding them. As her parents were mostly absent after Jen’s early years, she developed independence young and found opportunities to study abroad both for high school and college. On he ...more
I thought this book will be a great food adventure, and it was. This a memoir of a Canadian-born young woman living in London. Jennifer's parents were both immigrants to Canada from Croatia and Hungary. She moved to London where she had her own cooking school and visited different countries to learn more about their food traditions. I loved the idea! So I was in.
I crave food that is important and historical, recipes that have changed little in five hundred years, aside perhaps from the substi
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book made me HUNGRY.
"I seek instead the food eaten behind closed doors. The long-simmered stews of chicken with golden plums and quince that sustain husbands after long commutes of two bus changes and a shared taxi, or children weary from school lessons where maths and biology are fitted around compulsory modules on morality and the 'history of the Islamic revolution.' I imagine the lamb braised with pomegranate seeds to be eaten after days of biting tongues and swallowing impatience, serv
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading this book and it is an amazing insight into a culture we know so little about.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and Jennifer holds nothing back. She bares her heart and her soul and tells us all she sees and feels. It is funny, romantic, heartbreaking,and shocking but through all of it Jennifer's words guide you to understand how this ancient culture thinks.
Could not stop reading it!
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec was wonderful. My favourite kind of writing, beautiful detailed and evocative descriptions of places, people and food. It is an exploration of the culture of a place that most of us will know very, very little about – Iran. Jennifer Klinec comes to the country to research its food – the owner of a successful cookery school run out of flat in London she regularly went on trips to learn how real people cook in different countries, living with families and pay ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Subtitled, "a memoir of love and food in Iran," this is part biography, part a love letter to cooking. Jennifer Klinec was raised in Canada by loving, but benignly neglectful parents. Wrapped up in themselves and in their business, Jennifer's first memory of her mother's kitchen is being chased out of it. Yet, despite her early experience of not being made to feel welcome, she grew up into an independent and well travelled woman, finally settling in London where she eventually gave up banking an ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I found this book utterly fascinating. I was completely drawn in to the author's amazing travels, and it opened up a whole world of travel and cooking for me, particularly to a country I'd never have considered visiting.

The love story was so unconventional, so surprising and yet so beautiful. I was totally caught up in watching it all unfold.

A wonderful read - I shared it with my book group and some of the ladies said it was their favourite of all the books we've read this year.

I hope the author
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. It had me hooked from the get go. Jennifer Klinec has led an absolutely extraordinary life (so far) and her description of the food and people of Iran were simply beautiful. I will DEFINITELY be rereading this book, and I highly recommend it. I hope she puts out a cookbook about Iranian cuisine.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book, the way she writes, the food, the descriptions. Brilliant.
The author was so brave in sharing herself and her incredible story.
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read! I loved how the author, Jennifer, writes with such honesty and self-examination about her feelings for Vahid and their perilous relationship. This love story does not start off easy, and I found Jennifer's initial assessment of Vahid and his gruffness quite amusing. As the book unfolds and Jennifer and Vahid's feelings for each other become more complex, it was sweet to see how Vahid's gruffness faded and was instead replaced by earnest love and doting affection. Food lovers - ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have just finished 'The Temporary Bride' and was absolutely in love with the story. If there is ever a movie I will be first in line. I don't think there is a way the author could have more beautifully described Iran and its people.

I am also SO pleased to see a heading 'That Rice' on Jennifer's website! I guess I wasn't the only one who vowed to try and recreate it after reading the book!

A truly beautiful story about love, food, and reaching across cultural boudaries.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have always been attracted to Iran so to read this book was to travel there vicariously. The only thing missing was the recipes for the food that the author was describing. I desperately went to Jennifer’s website hoping that she would list some of the recipes for me to try – only the amazing rice recipe was listed.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Books and food are my main loves, and anything that combines the two has to be a winner for me. to combine these with adventures in an exotic, far-away setting adds more to the allure of a book, so, for me, The Temporary Bride was impossible to resist.

Jennifer Klinec has led an unusual life. She spent much of her childhood being ignored by her wealthy parents who led busy lives. Although Jennifer wanted to spend time with her mother in the kitchen, her earliest memories are of her being chased o
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is fascinating on so many levels! Firstly if you love exotic food then you must read it. Jennifer is a chef who left the corporate world behind to start her own business giving exotic cooking lessons in London and she gives such wonderful descriptions of food that I almost contemplated a plate of offal and I can’t stand the stuff! Her love of food comes through so well, I could taste it, every mouthful.

Secondly, there is the moving and poignant story of her relationship with the coun
Lou Theunissen
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When finishing "The Temporary Bride" I realized that the one-but-last time I cried when reading a novel was 30 years ago. Only Jennifer Klinec managed to evoke these emotions again with her memoirs of love and food in Iran. It is well written: detailed when needed, funny, interesting and at the same time full of true and understandable experiences of deep valleys.
At the same time Klinec never looses herself in judgements against the Iranian culture or the habits of the people she meets. She just
Daniel Molinari
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I loved this book. I was fully wrapped up in it from beginning to end and found the progression of the story, especially the romance between the two characters really compelling. The story is just so unique and interesting, not only from the cultural perspective, but the author's honesty blew me away. The way she lets herself be vulnerable, the way she lays everything out bare - I could see and feel it all.
A real gem of a book that will stay with you for days
Kate Sutherland
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I feel like I have just been to Iran! Jennfier's truely grasped life by the scruff of the neck & given it a good old shake. She is brave & vulnerable, all in one breath. Her journey to Iran is not to be missed. She left me wanting more. What happened next Jennifer? The epilogue reveals there is so much more to say. ...more
I think I would have enjoyed this far more if it had been one of two things. Either just about the food, or a chronicle a relationship that develops between two different people. If it was going to be a chronicle of the relationship, I actually think the story would have been far more interesting if it had been written by both Klinec and her husband.
When Canadian expat Jennifer Klinec abandons her lucrative career in finance to open a cooking school in her London warehouse apartment, she is doing nothing less than following her passion. A self-taught cook, she is also well-travelled, and often closes the school for a while to seek out fresh new recipes and ideas in foreign lands. To prepare for her first trip to Iran, Jennifer learnt a little Farsi and dreamed of the dishes she was hoping to try - from chicken in walnut & pomegranate sauce ...more
Jo Kessel
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
This book took me completely by surprise. It is not the usual type of book that I read. It is an autobiographical memoir of a cooking trip to Iran - but it is about so much more than just food. It is about love and a love affair which gives us a fascinating glimpse into a different culture. It is about a love which you would imagine could never happen in real life.............but can it?!
The writing was beautiful. I could smell the food and the scenery - everything was brought beautiful
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Temporary Bride is half food memoir and half romance (with a bit of adventure travel thrown in). In her early 30s, author Jennifer Klinec heads to Iran to learn everything she can about Persian food. The descriptions of the dishes were mouthwatering, I only wish they had included some recipes. There's a forbidden romance and I can imagine that this book will be compared to Eat Pray Love. But it's the cool, interesting version instead. Klinec is a skilled writer and her passion for travel, fo ...more
Tanya Searle
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely beautiful love story exploring a culture that is a mystery to me. What an amazing insight into Iranian life! Jennifer made you feel that you were living and breathing the experience with her. Vahid is at times surprising, but as you get to know him his gruffness and honesty is endearing. Loved this book from the beginning to end.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Canadian-born Klinec had travelled the world and founded her own cookery school in London, but it was on a trip to Iran to gather Persian recipes that she unexpectedly fell in love. Two stories unfurl in parallel: Klinec’s culinary education and her surprising romance with Vahid. For the former, she learned traditional dishes and sampled all kinds of street food, from kaleh pacheh, a sheep innard soup, to pastries. She even visited a camel slaughterhouse. Her favorite recipe of all, though, was ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A tantalizing read, which gripped me forcefully and made a discernible indentation into my spirit. JK demonstrates impeccable eloquence as she packs you into her well-worn suitcase and takes you with her as she embarks on a most compelling adventure, past the curtains & veils of Iran and the Persian culture. Her overly descriptive present tense writing style is very effective - you sense the rhythm of her heartbeat, every measured breath, every imprint of her step, you taste every dish she helps ...more
Fab Librarian
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s true that just by reading a book you can feel absolutely transported to another country. As I devoured this memoir I could almost smell and taste the wonderful food of Iran (and the hunger pangs it inspired didn’t do much for my diet!).

In her thirties Jennifer Klinec decides to leave her well-paid corporate job in London to set up her own cookery school. Her passion for food also sends her all over the world to discover recipes handed down from generation to generation. In Iran she spends t
I won this book in a Goodreads First-reads giveaway and I absolutely loved it! Thank you Goodreads...and thank you Jennifer Klinec for this gem of a novel! This book opened up a whole new world to me and took me on a wonderful cultural journey of the heart. I almost feel like I have travelled to Iran myself. I could taste, smell, feel the experience of life there...and it is written so lovingly, tenderly, and with such honesty. This book was a beautiful, richly-layered surprise for me...not at a ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer's book was an automatic choice as who could resist a mixture of food and a cross cultural love story? The book was a delightful read and I found that I had to go back and read it again as I felt that I was only reading it at a superficial level the first time around. The book has amazing depth allowing you to almost taste the food and feel the discomfort of being the stranger in a different culture. I won't give away any of the story as it was such a joy to allow the events to slowly un ...more
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
*I received this book for free through Goodreads first reads*

I really enjoyed this book. You can feel the author's love for food,and also for... Love. It is very interesting and allowed me an insight into another culture that I knew nothing about. It also made me want to cook more and discover new recipes and new cuisines. All in all, it's a beautiful story, sweet at times, sad at times, but that will bring you something and will stay with you.
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2015 Reading Chal...: Vanessa Sander's 2015 Reading Challenge Plan 4 36 Jul 26, 2015 01:27AM  

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