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No More Mulberries

No More Mulberries [Kindle Edition]

Mary Smith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

No More Mulberries is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

British-born Miriam’s marriage to her Afghan doctor husband is heading towards crisis. Despite his opposition, she goes to work as a translator at a medical teaching camp in a remote area of rural Afghanistan hoping time apart will help are see where their problems lie. She comes to realise how unresolved issues from when her first husband was killed by a mujahideen group are damaging her relationship with her husband and her son – but is it already too late to save her marriage?


“Mary Smith makes the reader care what happens to every character and leaves us the richer for having read it.”
ROSEMARY GEMMELL (Dangerous Deceit)

“Her characters are complex with layered pasts (Iqbal’s leprosy and the metaphorical and physical scars it has left behind – Miriam’s lives in Scotland and with her previous husband) and uncertain futures…A lovely book which calls for attention.”
JANICE GALLOWAY (This is Not About Me)

“Written with empathy and humour, No More Mulberries provides a fascinating insight into life in rural Afghanistan.”

“This book might be about Miriam, but it's Afghanistan which will grab you and hold you.”

“It is so much more than just a good romantic novel; it has a serious subtext of highly informative passages incorporating colourful detail across the whole spectrum of political and social issues in 1990s Afghanistan. Smith’s ability to manipulate plot and rationalise timelines makes this book a real 'page turner' - A triumphant debut as a novelist.”

“Beautifully written, full of the sounds, smells, skies of Afghanistan. And written by a woman who clearly loves and respects that country and its culture.”
SHEILA TEMPLETON (Digging for Light)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 481 KB
  • Print Length: 262 pages
  • Publisher: King Street Press; 2 edition (1 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005RRDZ12
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mary Smith was born on Islay, grew up in Dumfries & Galloway and worked for Oxfam in Lancashire for ten years. After this, she spent the next ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan, firstly for the Pakistan Leprosy Control Programme based in Karachi followed by establishing a mother and child health care project in the Hazara Jat region of Afghanistan and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
After returning to Scotland she worked as a freelance journalist while writing her first book, Before The Taliban: Living with War, Hoping for Peace. This narrative non-fiction account of her time in Afghnaistan lets the reader meet some of the ordinary Afghan women and their families with whom Mary worked.
Her second book, No More Mulberries, also set in Afghanistan is her debut novel.
Mary's years in Afghanistan - often working in remote rural areas - allows her to bring a high degree of authenticity to her work.
Mary Smith is now a journalist with Dumfries & Galloway Life magazine while working on her second novel.
For more information on Mary's journalism, poetry and other projects visit her website at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Frenchie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh my, what a superb read, at least , for me . This is one of the best books I have read this year as it really touched my heart. It is the story of Miriam, a Scottish midwife who used to be called Margaret but who changed her name upon marrying Jawad, and Afghan doctor and converting to Islam (her choice). It is the love story of these two soul mates, their visions for a country torn apart, their hopes to bring hope and changes to a little village in the Afghan mountains and her devastation when he died. It is about her subsequent marriage to Iqbal, also an Afghan doctor, for more practical reasons than real love, to go back to Afghanistan to be near the grave of the one she truly loved. It is the story of Iqbal, who loves Miriam but deep down thinks that he cannot compete with Jawad's memory and is, one way, haunted by his ghost, as he is haunted by his own past. It is the story of the struggles, challenges but also happiness and understanding of marriage between two people from different cultures. Bridging the gap between these two cultures that I could totally relate to, myself being married to a man from one of the Maghreb countries.
It is a breath of fresh air, where men are not described as violent and terrorists, but described very realistically, like Iqbal, as being torn in two, like not losing face in front of others and to show that one can 'keep under control' his foreign wife but also feeling bad about it. Men who are not used to express their emotions due to centeries of belief that ''men don't cry or show weakness''. I could relate to Myriam's exasperation as not having her 'me' time, as many people ''back home'' cannot imagine for one instant the need to be alone.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth triumphant within the dreamcoat of fiction 4 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading this truly touching and engaging account of love and loss, of duty, loyalty and reconciliation. It is set in Afghanistan and Scotland. But it is so much more than just a good romantic novel; it has a serious subtext of highly informative passages incorporating colourful detail across the whole spectrum of political and social issues in 1990s Afghanistan. These strands are woven skilfully into the fabric of the novel. They are incorporated so naturally into the story, with no hidden agenda, that they make this book essential reading for anyone looking for an unbiased and knowledgeable view of the country rather than the selective pictures of Afghanistan, Islam and terrorism, usually produced by the Western news media.
Mary Smith has produced a painterly picture of this magnificent and rugged country, along with intimate portraits of its inhabitants and sketches of everyday life. Her knowledge of the country is impressive, as one might expect from the author of Before the Taliban: Living with War, Hoping for Peace Her ability to manipulate plot and rationalise timelines makes this book a real 'page turner' - A triumphant debut as a novelist - Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read 27 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was attracted to the subject matter - life in Afghanistan after the Russians had left but before the Taliban take-over - as I had visited the country before the upheaval of invasions and civil war. It follows the life of a young Scots woman who leaves behind the comforts of a Western lifestyle to marry and settle in that turbulent country. Her back-story is gradually revealed as you follow the dilemmas and dangers that she faces. The characters were sympathetically portrayed and really came alive for me - the men as well as the women - and I found it a fascinating read. It felt very authentic and I wondered how much of the background detail was autobiographical. I would highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story to make you think 12 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel gave me a lot to think about. It was outside my comfort zone and I wasn't sure if I would like it, however it had me engrossed from page one. It is the story of a mixed marriage, Afghan husband, Scottish wife, and their two children, who live and work as medics in Afghanistan. The mix of cultures fascinated me, as the story drew a picture of a very different lifestyle to that we are accustomed to in the west. It was like taking a step backwards in time to a more simple, basic life without all of the amenities we take for granted. The main character Margaret, who has embraced the muslim faith and changed her name to Miriam, is not fazed by the conditions in which she lives. The stresses come from her relationship with her husband Iqbal, and her inability to resolve her grief due to the death of her first husband Zawad. But it was the descriptive narrative and the culture that fascinated me the most. However, I did notice that a lot of the minor characters had the same first name, there were several Dauds and Anwar's for example, but this did not lead to confusion, and I had no trouble identifying each character as they appeared, the characterisation was so good.
This book was an excellent story and, although there is conflict within the pages and most of the men seemed to have Kalashnikovs, this not a war story. I would highly recommend it for your reading list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read! 17 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a superb read! I read this wonderful book in two days and found it very hard to put down. The characters in the story were very believable and the insight into life post the Russians and before the Taliban was so informative. Reading this book showed me a totally different Afghanistan from the one currently portrayed by the media. I would heartily recommend you buy it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this story
I loved this story. The characters jump off the page, the descriptions of life in rural Afghanistan are so real I almost felt I was there. Surprising and engrossing..
Published 4 days ago by Opal
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read
Absolutely Fab Book Loved It
Published 1 month ago by Andrea Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Tender but disturbing story that is very enjoyable but thought provoking. A GEM
Published 1 month ago by Mrs C.M. OConnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
My mother used to say that if you couldn't say something nice about somebody, it was better to say nothing at all. So I will not comment on the main character in the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
I enjoyed this well written and descriptive book giving me insight into different cultures and the womans role in society
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book You Will Never Forget
I read 'No More Mulberries' before I read Mary Smith's other book about Afghanistan, 'Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni,' so I had some knowledge of the background and it was like... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lucinda
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read!
Delightful story and most informative about the way of life in Afganistan.Couldn't stop reading, so hope there are more books from this author.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs A Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars No more mulberries
I enjoyed reading this book. It was an interesting subject and a good insight to the country and beliefs. Well written and researched and the settings were good .
Published 4 months ago by Linda smouton
5.0 out of 5 stars No More Mulberries by Mary Smith
No More Mulberries by Mary Smith is a marathon read offering insight into the every day world of ordinary people, primarily women, living in rural Afghanistan. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Erin
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read of cultural differences
Really enjoyed this book about Miriam from Scotland who marries Jawad only for him to be killed.She then marries Iqbal has a daughter with him and her son by Jawad. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maggie Johnson
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