Being perfectly honest, I grabbed this debut tile from Jennifer Klinec specifically for the food information, as I’m always interested in new food experiences, and Iranian food isn’t the easiest to find. Please read on to discover this story, narrated by Laurence Bouvard
The Temporary Bride
The subtitle on this is a memory of food and love. And to be honest, I’ll have to say that I found the author to be both self-absorbed and rather distasteful in that ‘first world arrogant’ way that betrayed both the woman who took her into her home to show her food, and how she callously disregarded the dangers for the family and the man she was consumed with. It didn’t feel like ‘love’ to me, but an obsession that was wholly immature in its foundation, and seeming to take more pleasure in the forbidden nature of the connection than in any real sense of the person. So, I’m discounting and shan’t mention more of the ‘romance’ here as it felt contrived and opportunistic, and had me truly disliking the author in some very basic ways.
Unfortunately, that dislike did make the references to food: the traditions and the experiences and their cornerstone influences for family life, gathering and showing affection and care to dim somewhat with the ‘ears ever tuned to his return’ moments that were so frequent as to be cringe-worthy. But, I couldn’t ignore the love and tradition, the care and hours with which Yazd uses to show her family her love: choosing the right ingredients, hours spent making each dish to a certain standard, even the small changes which will be on the menu to celebrate a moment. The familiarity of some things and the utter newness of others, all built within the constraints of the Islamic dietary codes: flavors to enhance the simplest of ingredients and allow everything to sing.
Narration for this story is provided by Laurence Bouvard and his retelling of the story was clearly presented and gave that sense of ‘something wonderful’ being created in the kitchen. While I found the romance element to be contrived, the narration was clear and present, and while I didn’t find a ton of emotion (other than fear of reprisals) from that romance, it wasn’t overacted or presented as more than it was. Disappointed with the direction and the feeling of intentional ‘stirring the pot” (in both settings) I was less than enamored of the story.
Stars: Overall 2 Narration 4 Story 2
Title: The Temporary Bride:
Author: Jennifer Klinec
Genre: Biography / Memoir, Food / Recipes, Middle East, Multi-Cultural, Romantic Elements, Setting: Iran
Narrator: Laurence Bouvard
Published by: Hachette Audio, Ltd., Virago Press
Published on: 14 February, 2017
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 32 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
For fans of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a true story of forbidden love set against the rich cultural and political backdrop of modern-day Iran.
Jennifer Klinec is fearless. In her thirties, she abandons her bland corporate job to launch a cooking school from her London apartment and travel the world in search of delicious recipes and obscure culinary traditions. Her journey takes her to Iran, where she seeks out a local woman to learn the secrets of Persian cuisine.
Vahid is suspicious of the strange foreigner who turns up in his mother’s kitchen. Unused to such a bold and independent woman, he is frustrated to find himself, the prized only son of the house, largely ignored for the first time. But when the two are thrown together on an unexpected adventure, they discover a mutual attraction that draws them irresistibly toward each other–but also pits them against harsh Iranian laws and customs, which soon threaten to tear the unlikely lovers apart.
Getting under the skin of one of the most complex and fascinating nations on earth, The Temporary Bride is a soaring, intricately woven story of being loved, being fed, and struggling to belong.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.