The title promises to tell the story of traditional Arab sweets. But going through the book I did not find it. The book is a series of recipes: first the original version, second the authors' rendition of it, and third a modern equivalent, with some anecdotes, verses and sometimes explanatory notes on ingredients and dishes. What is really lacking here, so that we may talk of a story indeed, is the necessary cohesive narrative and analytic `cement.'
To begin with, the recipes are grouped categorically, such as pastries, cookies, cakes, etc., which would have been acceptable had the authors taken the time to reflect on each category and provided an introductory section to each one of them. Honestly, I felt lost in the mazes of the endless series of recipes, no direction, no plan, nothing.
The general introduction was not helpful either, being severely inadequate and brief, several pages, a bunch of undeveloped notes. No story to tell here, either. In a book dedicated entirely to sweets, how can an essential ingredient like sugar be covered in just few paragraphs?
Besides, more care needed to have been taken of the 32 photos of dishes bunched in the middle of the book. Most of them seem to suffer from lack of light, focus and technical expertise.
The sure winner here is the cover designer.