- Hardcover: 216 pages
- Publisher: Harper Collins India; 1 edition (15 December 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9351774821
- ISBN-13: 978-9351774822
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2 x 18 cm
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Alphabet Soup for Lovers Hardcover – 15 Dec 2015
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About the Author
Anita Nair is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the novels The Better Man, Ladies Coupé, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting, Cut Like Wound and Idris. She has also published a collection of poems titled Malabar Mind, a collection of essays titled Goodnight & God Bless and five books for children. Anita has written two plays and the screenplay for the movie adaptation of her novel Lessons in Forgetting, which was part of the Indian Panorama at IFFI 2012 and won a National Film Award in 2013. She has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award and her books have been translated into over thirty languages around the world. She is also the founder of the creative writing and mentorship programme, Anita’s Attic.
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Top customer reviews
The narrative is spellbinding and easy flowing. Each alphabet of English language, a food item starting with that letter, a small but meaningful and witty explanation by the cook, Komathi, and Lena's story.
Completely unputdownable ☺️
The story is told through the eyes of Komathi, the cook of Lena Abraham, who lives a sheltered yet uneventful life with her husband KK in the Annamalai hills till the arrival of South Indian superstar Shoola Pani Dev at their homestay cottage.
As Komathi tackles the various letters of the alphabet with food or ingredients that catch her eye, the story attains the flavor of it and progresses smoothly.
The book made me crave for some of the foods mentioned, google some recipes and made me look at food with a different eye.
Recommended to all who love literary fiction that is a delight to read and tells a good story. Also for foodies.
Neither did I wait too long to start reading the Alphabet Soup for Lovers. I started reading it in train on the way to Kudla from Bangalore and unfortunately, also finished it in two days. I wish it would go on and on, I wish Anita Nair was tackling Malayalam alphabets - at least then we'd have had 52 chapters and not just 26.
Alphabet Soup for Lovers is a simple tale - of how Lena Abraham finds love. Lena and KK, her husband, run a tea plantation and a small homestay in the lap of the Annamalai hills. Their marriage is placid, free of passion or arguments. But when Shoola Pani, the Tamil superstar, comes to stay in the homestay, Lena's life takes a new course. Passion and love, which Lena carefully skirted around all these years, come bursting forth from her bosom.
But this tale is not just about Lena. It belongs as much to Komathi, the cook of Lena's household, as to her. The tale is partly narrated by Komathi, and this is where the food metaphors and the "palatable" descriptions come from. The story's poignancy, light-heartedness, philosophy and heart comes from Komathi's narrative. Here's an example:
"Arisi appalam doesn't puff up like a pappadum or a puri. Instead it turns a beautiful crisp white. It's full of flavour. Of green chillies and asafoetida, lime and the heat of the sun, and each bite is like a firecracker bursting in the mouth... Leema and her husband KK...are like store-bought appalam. Seemingly perfect but with neither flavour nor taste. Leema, you need an arisi appalam in your life, I want to tell her."
In other parts, it is narrated in third person, where we get glimpses into the head and heart of both Lena and Shoola Pani. They are battling their own demons as their friendship fast-paces itself into a relationship that takes everyone by a storm.
The narrative is like the flow of a river. It is heart-rending without being melodramatic, plaintive without howling. Though I would have liked an ending to Komathi's story just as Lena got hers, I have to admit this book plucked the chords of my heart like none other recently.
Anita Nair has written with a light and deft touch, paradoxically highlighting the emotional upheavals that take place.
Whatever be your favourite cuisine, if you are a deserving reader, this book certainly deserves to be on your plate.
Pick up today!
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