Member Reviews

Stunning! Set in India shortly before WWII, in a time where tension was building between Muslims and Hindus and the threat of war in Europe was increasing.

Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother, rebellious and headstrong Bindu loves to cook, creating sumptuous dishes with expertly blended spices. Renita D’Silva’s writing is sublime; I could taste the chilli on my tongue and smell the cardamom in the air, as I pictured the village and heard the children playing outside while Bindu and her Ajji tempered their spices,

Bindu wants to make a difference in the world. She wants an education and to create a better life for her grandmother, the villagers and those she loves.

When she makes the heartbreaking decision to marry the village landlord’s son, Guru, in order to save her grandmother’s life, Bindu is shunned by the villagers. Trapped and alone in an unhappy marriage, Bindu finds solace in writing her recipes and sending them to British journalist, Laurence Elliot. I had so much admiration for Bindu’s unwavering determination to make a difference to the villager’s lives, despite their rejection of her. Nothing could break her spirit and she fought tirelessly. An incredible character, Bindu inspired me with every page. Although Guru was cruel to Bindu at times, his character was so well written and realistic in relation to the time and setting of the book. I could feel his love for Bindu and sense his strong internal battle as his love for her came up against his upbringing and societal expectations.

The story switches between Bindu’s story to 1980, Eve’s heartbreak over the tragic death of her husband Joe and daughter Issy. As the two women’s stories start to connect, Eve is drawn to India, intrigued by the recipe book she was gifted by her adoptive father.

An important story that embraced my heart as I learned of the social and gender struggles faced by Bindu, Guru and Sunitha, Bindu’s childhood friend and “sister of her heart”.

5⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley, Renita D’Silva and Bookouture, for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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From the past to the present set in India and England, this layout is one I enjoy like the conclusion to a historic happening resolving what's past.

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“The Spice Maker’s Daughter” is by Renita D’Silva. This book is a dual timeline - Bindu’s story taking place in 1930s India and Eve’s story taking place in 1980s London. Although it takes a bit for a connection to be stated between the two women, there is a connection that is revealed. Bindu is a free spirit who is passionate about many things - ranging from her grandmother to helping others - she’s also incredibly smart and has an unfortunate unlucky reputation per the local village gossip. Eve, a writer, recently lost her husband and child in a tragic accident. As the story unfolds, it’s easy to see the topics of love, grief, and trying to function when odds seem impossible flow through these two women’s lives. Having recently lost a child to an accident, I thought I’d be more moved and relate more to Eve, but I found her story touched upon but not as developed as Bindu’s. Additionally while I know everyone grieves differently, I found Eve’s “acceptance” a bit hard to swallow because it happened so quickly. This was an interesting and engaging read, though it did take me a while to get into it - and I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending, truth be told.

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Beautifully written, The Spice Maker’s Secret explores a multi-generational family saga. Love and loss, rebellion and sacrifice all weave together into a gripping story of how women survive to thrive continents and decades apart.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this amazing ARC.

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Gorgeous cover, beautiful storytelling….. The Spice Maker’s Secret is an utterly unforgettable and heartbreaking story about love, betrayal and one woman’s extraordinary sacrifice. An absolutely gripping and totally addictive story that will keep you racing through the pages all night long.

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