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The Mistress of Spices (1997)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385482388, Paperback)On a mythic island of women "where on our skin, the warm rain fell like pomegranate seeds" powerful spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and fenugreek whisper their secrets to young acolytes. Ordained after trial by fire, each new spice mistress is sent to a far-off land to cure the life pains of all Indian seekers, while keeping a cool distance from the mortals. Only stubborn, passionate Tilo, disguised as an old woman merchant in present-day Oakland, California, fails to heed the vengeful spices' warnings. Fragrant with spice and sensuality, this winning tale rolls off the tongue. Written in the soaring, poetic tradition of China Men and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:03 -0400)
A magic realism tale on Tilo, a woman from India who is given immortality by the gods as long as she remains chaste. In her old age Tilo ends up in California, running a spice shop and helping immigrants. One day enters Raven, a handsome American, and Tilo transforms herself into a beautiful woman for a night of love. Now she must pay the price.