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The Mistress of Spices (Penguasa Rempah-Rempah)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  11,011 Ratings  ·  852 Reviews
Kisah tentang Tilo, wanita muda yang terpilih menjadi Penguasa Rempah-rempah. Setelah menceburkan diri ke dalam api Shampati, Tilo mewujud jadi sosok wanita renta yang imortal, dan membuka toko rempah-rempah. Melalui seni kuno meramu rempah-rempah, ia menyembuhkan banyak orang India di perantauan. Suatu hari seorang pria Amerika keturunan Indian masuk ke tokonya dan, tak d ...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published January 2003 by PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama (first published 1997)
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Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably wouldn’t have read this if I hadn’t been introduced to Ms. Divakaruni by a former student who was taking a class from her and loved her. I always feel as though I should read people’s books if I’ve met them, which has gotten me stuck with some duds. Fortunately this wasn’t one of them. With a writing style that’s both conversational and lyrical, Divakaruni engulfs you in a heady blend of mysticism, romance, and realism as complex and sensual as the spices she writes about. The story t ...more
Oct 01, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance book readers
This book belongs on a Harlequin/ Mills & Boon bookshelf. I picked it up expecting something quite different from the lukewarm and soggy story telling it contained. Perhaps the author was aiming for magic realism but ended up with a mishmash of genres and not one that was well-developed.

The story revolves around a woman who had a weird past that has no real connection to her present. She "inhabits" an old body for no good reason other than she might actually be that old (the book meanders a
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good idea poorly executed.

The poetic language lauded in other reviews is over the top and gets obnoxious quickly. The author has an odd form of Tourrete's that makes her spit out similies - "eyes dark as a tropical night" - that aren't necessarily half bad , but there are so many of them they begin to grate.

The author follows. The unimaginative trend. Of chopping up sentences. Into fragments. In the name of art. Which wasn't cool even the first time it was done. By someone else.

The title chara
Misty... fragrant... intoxicating.. mythical... spicy!!

I have read almost all books of Chitra Banerjee and each read makes me crave for more.. her intriguing characters, colorful stories and much are like bites from your faviorite dish which you eat one at a time so that the taste lasts forever.. holding me close to the book and I wish it never ends.. The best part about her books are the interesting character sketches.. generally a character has shades of black or white or a mixed grey.. but Ch
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear, whatever one says is going to sound like damnation via faint praise. Yes, this is magical realism; no, it isn't as accomplished as the best examples in that genre. Yes, it is an occasionally beguiling love story; no, it isn't without its languors and flat spots. Yes, the end in particular keeps one turning pages to see what happens; no, it isn't quite as moving and powerful as this reader hoped it would be. Entertaining, enjoyable, not life-changing. I felt the strongest passages weren' ...more
Sara Zovko
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magična Indija kroz bajkovitu priču o začinima i njihovom utjecaju na ljude i njihove živote, osjećaje i odluke, sa prstohvatom ljubavi i njezinim posljedicama.
Začini su samo dio priče, ono bitno su ipak ljudi, žena koja je odlučila izaći iz svog balona u kojem je živjela i pomoći drugima oko sebe da pronađu svoju sreću, čak i uz mogućnost da ona zauvijek izgubi sve svoje.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I nominated this for my f2f book group because I was curious. The author lives in Houston and is a friend of a friend. I was expecting a relatively simple, domestic novel, but was pleasantly surprised to find a dazzlingly original example of magical realism.

The main character doesn’t even have a stable name. It changes as her life changes: first she’s Nayan Tara, the disappointing girl child who’s ugly—the color of mud—but who has psychic gifts that make the family’s fortune in a small village o
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
I absolutely adored this book. I've read it about ten times since I first got my hand on it, and it's been a companion all through puberty and the rocky university years. What's funny, then, is that it took me so long to realise what this book is really about, and what it was that drew me to it. First up - the writing is like jewels on a page. She evokes such beautiful imagery and a wonderful magical universe just with her words; one cannot help but be swept away in its beauty.

Secondly, it's so
I was expecting more of this book. I picked it up randomly at the library because I am intrigued by Indian cooking and their creative use of spices. I liked the soft, poetic language of the first pages, but it was a weak book. The skeleton that the magical language hung on was weak and porous. It seemed immediately to be derivitive - an inferior version of "Like Water for Chocolate". If you like magical realism, read that one instead.
Cameron Chaney
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cameron by: Darth J
This book is so unique and beautiful. Really liked this one! Full review to come.
I picked the book up on a secondhand book sale and was intrigued by the spices which, in retrospect, should have been the protagonists in the tale! But I always enjoyed the magic flavors of the huge Asian spice markets in South Africa, where it is exhibited in heaps and weighed on ancient scales. The memories of going to the Indian markets on a Saturday morning buying flowers, fruit, vegetables and magical spices, combined with an everlasting curiosity about other cultures and stories, got me bo ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandonados
Abandonado tras intentarlo varias veces, pero la protagonista no me acaba de enganchar. No me gusta dejar los libros a mitad, porque a veces te sorprende con el final, sin embargo con éste prefiero no despediciar mi tiempo.
Raymond Hu
Jun 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think it was boring personally and just the type of books i hate. I mean like i get the storyline a bit but like half of the book you don't really need to know about. I felt the author added to much stuff about minor characters that had nothing to do with the main ideas of the story and it kind of made the story fail in my point of view. I also gave it a low rating because the book couldn't get to the point fast enough like they leave you with an idea halfway and it switches to a whole new ide ...more
love the premise, magic acting through spices. the heroine is supposed to use her training and powers for her own people but compassion leads her to help all who come to her--a lesson in diversity? a dreamy lilt to the tone of the writing, charming word arrangement (is English the author's second language?), an ending that reminds me of that one Batman villain from the animated series who wants to destroy the world so it can heal itself over (Razul?). the love story part is on the verge of silly ...more
Ashok Krishna
Apr 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is this very important thing about performing magic. Unless you have a deep grasp of your magic and pronounce the runes properly, the magic will not work. What is worse, it might backfire and the invoked spirit might even end up killing you. This very thing seems to have happened to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni in writing this book. Her writing magic, if I could call it so, has backfired and, Goodness, it has done so very badly.

The first book of this author that I had read was ‘The Palace of
Apr 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-pause
I tried to read and enjoy this book. I read the summary, prior to purchasing it and it sounded promising. However, after the first 15 pages, I knew I was doomed. None-the-less, I kept going, but I just could not get into this book.

The prose is beautiful but heavy...and I detect this is supposed to be along the lines of fantasy...but I was lost. To the DNF shelf this goes until another time.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Questa lettura, per me, ha una storia strana. Vidi il libro qulche anno fa sul banco di una biblioteca dell'Università, era di una ragazza che a furia di leggerlo lo aveva consumato.
Mi colpì il nome dell'autrice, che non conoscevo... aveva un nome che sapeva di India... annotai nome e titolo sul palmo della mano e mi diressi nella prima libreria: preso! (conservo ancora lo scontrino come segnalibro!) Come spesso accade il libro rimase sulla mia scrivania per ben due anni. Non di oblio ma di abb
May 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
As a big fan of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, I collect many of her books. The ones I have read are The Unknown Errors of Our Lives, Arranged Married, and the last one is The Mistress of Spices.

Like in her other books, in The Mistress of Spices, Divakaruni uses her beautiful writing style. Soft, unhurried, strong. She makes readers captivated in such a way that you feel every single sensation the main character, Tilo, undergoes.

This novel is somehow a flight of imagination, yet Divakaruni helps yo
Libro strano, riuscito solo a metà : la prima parte e’ molto bella e trasporta il lettore in una sfera atemporale dove sogno e fiaba si fondono armoniosamente, nella parte centrale la narrazione diventa piu’ tradizionale e sentimentale ed anche piu’ monotona ed il finale e’ da romanzetto rosa.
Nonostante questo sbilanciamento, e’ un libro da leggere : la narrazione e’ lieve ed il romanzo non e’ basato su una trama ben definita, ma ruota intorno all’ insieme di odori, sapori e colori di cui trasu
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: movie, Adira
“Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as reality, an objective and untouched nature of being. Or if all that we encounter has already been changed by what we had imagined it to be. If we have dreamed it into being.”
― Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, The Mistress of Spices

I saw the movie last year and felt there was a whole back story missing ... I was right.
What a beautiful fairy tale with elements of "Chocolat" but with a spicy twist!
Pranky reads
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It may have taken some time for me to connect with book, but many times in many characters it spoke my personality.
this is a book that leaves an impact and definitely makes you love your spices more..
Donna LaValley
Bits of magic, fantasy, folk remedies, herbal information, cultural studies of the lives of immigrants from India living in Oakland in the 1980’s (prejudice, violence), and wish-fulfillment highlight this book by an author whose book of short stories, “Arranged Marriage,” I truly enjoyed. She’s a gifted author whose work is for all, but this book is definitely ‘chick lit” – not that there’s anything wrong with that!

There are dozens of reviews so I won’t elaborate on plot points but will explain
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oduvijek me zanimala Indija i njena kultura, njene boje ,život i kuhinja, tako da me je ova knjiga zainteresirala u punom smislu te riječi. Moram priznati da mi je sam naslov aludirao na nešto sasvim drugo.Mislila sam da će se knjiga baviti više sa kuhanjem i indijskom kuhinjom,međutim u ovoj knjizi nema toga puno. Pa o čemu se onda tu radi , ako ne o kuhanju, pitat ćete se.

Priča je to o ženi , Indijki Tilo, čiju trgovinu sa indijskim začinima posjećuju većinom indijski doseljenici koji kuhaju n
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is redolent with the richness and scent of spices. It is positively poetic in places and had me rushing to find my pestle and mortar to rediscover the joys of the spices she lovingly describes. But ultimately it is a book about people, about life,about love and about belonging. It is also a personal journey - at the begining you will dislike the protagonist and her selfish attitude but this is gradually transformed. For those of you who dislike the ending all I can say is that it is a ...more
I totally wanted to like this, and I did starting out...but 1/3 of the way through I just felt the pace slow to the speed of molasses, or maybe ghee if we're going to be culturally accurate.

Tilo travels through time from a magical island to a spice shop in Oakland, where she gives out magic potions to other Indians but is supposed to let everyone else suffer through life on their own. (Yeah, that's the premise.) Then she meets a handsome American who appears to see how beautiful she is under her
Chiara in Wonderland
"Ti è piaciuto?" - "Ni"... E anticipo che io non dico mai, "ni". Più di metà del libro è affascinante, poetica, fiabesca. Siamo in un mondo da realismo magico, in cui le atmosfere esotiche, di cui le spezie sono la voce misteriosa; in questa atmosfera, padrona apparentemente incontrastata, c'è Tilo, e la sua vita. Ma, a un certo punto, questa vita così diversa e magica decide di incamminarsi per la strada del romanzo per adolescenti (view spoiler) ...more
Juniper Blackthorn
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
Hacía semanas que me estaba llamando desde una de las estanterías de El Corte Inglés. Apenas leí la sinopsis, pero sabía que el libro de estaba eligiendo para leer su historia.

Al principio me extrañaba la forma en que Chitra lo había escrito. Pero pronto me hice con ella y se me hizo natural. La suavidad y misterio con que envuelve a la protagonista, su pasado, sus palabras, sus secretos y deseos. Contiene frases que te hacen pensar; escenas que te encogen el corazón, otras que hacen que se vea
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jen, Sandy, Lauren
Recommended to GoldenjoyBazyll by: ha ha....I did!
"Even if we found your special place. I take a deep breath, then say it."Because there is no earthly paradise. Except what we can make back there, in the soot, in the rubble, in the crisped-away flesh. In the guns and the needles, the white drug dust, the young men and women lying down to dreams of wealth and power and waking in cells. Yes, in the hate and fear."

How true those words were to me. I loved the playful nature of this book with life's lessons woven throughout using spice as the forum.
1,5 stars. This additional 0,5 is for the immigrant stories that were not even close to special but it gave the main story a nice touch, with quite a range of problems I would like to read more about. Everything else - the language that was on the verge of ridiculous most of the time (some of the metaphores or comparisons are nice but for God's sake, not in EVERY line!), rather irritating main character and a romance that was from a different novel and was so weak it hurt - made me not like this ...more
Lubi Lafdewali
Sep 20, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have tried to pick up this book twice and tried reading it sincerely but I couldn't go past chapter 2.

I couldn't understand Tilo's worlds (more of a fantasy) and I felt very bored very quickly, which is usually a big sign for me to get rid of the book in my hand and find a better replacement.

Now I have even viewed the trailer of the film made on this movie, acted by Aishwarya Rai...I couldn't bear to watch it!

I'm sorry Ms. Chitra, this one didn't digest too well. Better luck next time, hun!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Desirable Daughters
  • The Forbidden Daughter
  • The Hindi-Bindi Club
  • The Sari Shop
  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
  • Pastries: A Novel of Desserts and Discoveries
  • Mistress
  • Crescent
  • For Matrimonial Purposes
  • Bitter Sweets
  • Invisible Touch
  • A Good Indian Wife
  • La Cucina
  • The House of Blue Mangoes
  • Invisible Lives
  • The Death of Vishnu
  • The Red Carpet: Bangalore Stories
  • Red Earth and Pouring Rain
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her themes include the Indian experience, contemporary America, women, immigration, history, myth, and the joys and challenges of living in a multicultural world. Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 ant ...more
More about Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni...

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“Each day has a color, a smell.” 82 likes
“Each spice has a special day to it. For turmeric it is Sunday, when light drips fat and butter-colored into the bins to be soaked up glowing, when you pray to the nine planets for love and luck.” 32 likes
More quotes…