The Mistress of Spices – My thoughts

spicesAuthor – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Blurb: Magical, tantalizing, and sensual, The Mistress of Spices is the story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers.  Once fully initiated in a rite of fire, the now immortal Tilo–in the gnarled and arthritic body of an old woman–travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives to her customers.  An unexpected romance with a handsome stranger eventually forces her to choose between the supernatural life of an immortal and the vicissitudes of modern life.  Spellbinding and hypnotizing, The Mistress of Spices is a tale of joy and sorrow and one special woman’s magical powers.

I had loved Chitra Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions (review here). And after that book, I had decided to read all of her works (at least give a try!). And so I picked up The Mistress of Spices.

The writing style in this book is quite different from the other one. Here she uses an unhurried language that is poetic, lyrical and conversational too.

Tilo is a Mistress of Spices who has been endowed with mystic powers to read the minds of people and of suggesting spices to suit their needs. But then enters the ‘American’. Soon rules are broken & it results in some life changing consequences for Tilo. At the end of the book, one realizes that life really is what we make it – paradise or otherwise.

What I liked the most in the book is the way she described the purpose of the different spices with their magical properties. How I wish I could use them actually in my life to drive away my problems! I wish there was someone like Tilo for real…… :)

A good read otherwise, with some parts, however, dragging for me. A movie has also been made with the same name starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Next I plan to watch the movie to see how it has been adapted.

You can click on the image of the book above to reach the Goodreads page.

This review has been submitted as a part of my Indian Quills Challenge 2013 (read about the challenge here)


  1. I wish I could read more like u 😦 Great going with your reading activity girl 😀 keep up!

  2. This book was quite different and something unlike anything I have read in a long time. Hence, I quite enjoyed it. It has a distinct feel to it. I have yet to read the author’s other works. I look forward to doing so, though!

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