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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2010
I was really excited by the start of this book. I love the idea of a little wizened old lady in a spice shop secretly helping out customers with the power of the spices, whilst hiding her real identity. It is well written and magical. However, the ending is disappointing. As the book goes on, it becomes more of a romance novel and loses some of its charm. Basically, it comes down to a choice - the main character can be a powerful, helpful, magical "mistress of spices" or she can be in love and have her man. Whilst you can see where the author is going with this, you still can't help but feel a little disappointed when the main character makes her choice.
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on 4 June 2008
I did it the wrong way round and watch the movie first and then started reading the book. The book however stands on it's own. The descriptions given makes you really feel you are their in part of the book. It sets your mind a float on so much possibilities out there. I really good read.
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I thought that this book didn't make it's mind up where it was going and consequently the ending was a total hash. The mixture of magic and modernity was very uneasily done, which was a shame. I love magic realism and to see it at it's best you should read "Gabriel Garcia Marquez" and "Isabel Allende". This book was a very poor relation.
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on 27 January 2001
this book transported me a the most fantastic world. the author gives the reader indepth descriptions to fill in the minds-eye's picture. if you like this you should read "chocolat" by joanne harris.
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on 9 April 2013
i saw a film about a spice shop on tv a few months ago,then saw a book about scices,this got me thinking so got on amason found it with no problem,orded it and few days laiter started reading and could not put it down untill it was finished,it took me into a difrent world. i encourage others toget hold of the book emers themselfs in magik,mistry andwanders of spices.GREAT REED.
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2007
I was merely curious when I purchased this book, and so my expectations were not that great. However, having started to read it, I soon began to feel that this was going to be very good - and I wasn't disappointed! Do not be misled by either the cover or synopsis of this particular read, as it is so much more exciting than is subtlety hinted at. The story is absorbing, and is dealing with some very strong and natural desires of a fantastical world, and often in an unsentimental way, yet is still very moving.

I was really living the life of this old lady after only a few chapters and everything she thinks and feels and yearns for became my own craving, and one cannot but help to become part of her character as the novel unfolds. Though little appears to be said about each character's background (personality-wise) it is extremely simple to create visions of these people. I was constantly in anticipation as to how this story would end, and thought it very predictable, but apart from being totally wrong in my guessing at the outcome, it was far more abrupt than I could have ever expected - I kept looking to see if I'd lost a page!

I cannot help but recommend this book to anyone who wishes to read something refreshingly different and totally wonderful.

Definitely five stars!
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on 6 May 2000
This novel is written in a very different format; each chapter refers to a different spice and there is a constant switch between time. This novel tells the story of the mistress of spices, continually refering to her past life and her training as a mistress, which conjures up beautiful and mysterious images. A very abstract book to read, but if you can follow it and put yourself in her shoes, you will have a wonderful, refreshing experience reading this.
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on 7 May 2007
We just read this for our book group and the verdict was fairly unanimous; it's poorly-crafted, with no real focus. The author may be trying to recreate the kind of sensual food-and-romance feeling of Chocolat or Blackberry Wine, but in fact it's a dreadful jumble of little stories that go nowhere, while the love affair which is key to the story is apallingly juvenile and breathless. I wouldn't if I were you.
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on 26 December 1999
Full of and magic, written with great imagination, a joy, but at the end left me disappointed.
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on 9 October 2014
Thrillingly different. Looking forward to reading it again when enough time has passed for me to forget the details.
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