Why a booktrail?
Even the name sounds good to us – Scent of Saffron and a trail to Morocco! Yes please! Don’t read if you’re hungry though…
Story in a nutshell
From Cornwall to exotic Morocco, this is a journey on so many levels as two young women become friends and find that Morocco will change their lives in many very unexpected ways.
Nell has just lost her mum, a mum who has been hiding things from her and which she now wants to find out. She grew up on a saffron farm in Cornwall and is recently married but her mother’s death haunts her so her husband offers her a trip to Morocco and a cookery course which she uses to explore her past
Amy on the other hand is a photographer who goes to Morocco to capture the sights sounds and smells of an exotic land. Amy is also searching for the truth – this time about a postcard she found on her Aunt Lillian’s mantlepiece from her missing son Glen.
Morocco reveals many secrets thought buried in the sands…..
Place and setting
From the beautiful evocative cover to the aromas and fragrances within, this is a novel which if you shake it hard enough, there will no doubt be spices, saffron which come tumbling out from its pages.
Amy and Nell’s journey is one of discovery – of the city and its culinary marvels for one. The cookery course is as much a delight to read about as it must have surely been to taste –
‘During the next few days we will be seeking out local ingredients such as saffron from Taliouine’ she said. ‘Olives and mint from Meknes, Citrus fruits from Fez. And we’ll be discussing the history of Moroccan cuisine”
That Morocco and the saffron fields there might hold the clue to her past is something she can’t wait to explore.
There is a lot to explore about the cuisine and food of the country too – do you know the legend in folklore about why a crocus has a golden middle? What else is a tagine if not just a cooking pot? What is the art of Zellige? Morocco is a maze of labyrinth streets and a melting pot of cultures and fragrances….and these secrets and more to discover.
Marrakech was a riot of souks and spices, colour and noise. it was fun but it was crazy.
Then there is Aunt Lillian’s postcard on her mantelpiece sent many years ago from her son Glenn. Interspersed throughout the modern day story was the story of Glenn as he travels the world in the 1970’s and eventually settles in Morocco. Glen’s story reveals his and Lillian’s early life and the two Moroccos are carefully contrasted – this is the Morocco that Jimi Hendirx is said to have visited, the city of adventure for Glen and his friends, of a whole world away from the Vietnam war..
Despite the focus being on Marrakech and Essaouria, not to mention early scenes in a Paris bookstore – Shakespeare and Company? Cornwall also takes a leading role in the story and the saffron farm on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall where Nell grows up helps to explain her wanderlust for Morocco now.
Whatever you do, don’t read this book if you are the slightest bit hungry! I did and well I had to raid the fridge for anything exotic I could find. The next day I did pop out to buy some Moroccan food such was the pull and attraction of it from this very novel.
Like a series of ingredients all mixed together bubbling away in a tagine, take off the lid and boom – you’re in Morocco, eating, tasting, hearing and feeling the pulse of the city. From the dusty streets and the ancient walls, to taking your first aroma of saffron, this is a book which I am now going to use as a springboard for learning more about what I can do with the tagine someone bought me last christmas and those broken tiles I’d collected from my travels.
I was swept away by the stories and legends contained in this novel. There is so much to this story that at first the cover and blurb might not do it justice. This is no flowery story but a deep and meaningful search for the truth in to family secrets.
Once again Rosanna Ley has transported me to a whole new world and inspired me to read more about Morocco and its vibrancy.
Utterly and totally recommended for a literary travel experience of a lifetime!