SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
'A dazzling tale... woven with poetry and storyteller magic.' AMY TAN
Tilo, an immigrant from India, runs a spice shop in Oakland, California. While she supplies the ingredients for curries and kormas, she also dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice: for Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a priestess of the secret magical powers of spices.
To those who visit her shop, Tilo prescribes coriander for the restoration of sight, chilli for the cleansing of evil, fenugreek for the pain of rejection. But when a lonely American ventures into the store, a troubled Tilo cannot find the correct spice, for he arouses in her a forbidden desire - which if she follows will destroy her magical powers.
Compelling and lyrical, full of heady scents and with more than a touch of humour, this novel explores the clash between East and West even as it unveils the universal mysteries of the human heart.
'I felt excited and empowered by the way she used words' NAOMI ALDERMAN, author of THE POWER
'Unusual, clever, and often exquisite' LA Times
I read Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s novel The Mistress of Spices and felt excited and empowered by the way she used words
An unusual, clever, and often exquisite first novel...The result is rather as if Isabel Allende met Laura Esquivel.
Mythical and mystical, Mistress of Spices is reminiscent of fables and fairy tales. . . . The story Divakaruni tells is transporting, but it is her gift for metaphor that makes this novel live and breathe, its pages as redolent as any freshly ground spice.