Today is going to have a very Persian feel to it, and I’m starting the day with a book I’ve just finished called The Temporary Bride.
The Temporary Bride is written by Jennifer Klinec and was published through Virago last September. Klinec tells her own story, a fiercely independent young Canadian with a love of travel and ultimately a love of food.
We follow her as he leaves a well paid job in London to set up her own cookery school. We then follow her on one of her foreign trips, which she uses to explore local cuisine at grass roots level, with normal families. But this trip is unusual, she’s visiting the post-revolution Iran, a country where woman must remain covered and public displays of affection is frowned upon.
Klinec ends up in Yazd,with the family of a young Iranian man called Vahid. A journey of discovery begins as his mother teaches her how to cook local dishes. The writing is very descriptive and you really get a feeling of the exotic tastes and flavours. But this is not just a culinery delight, a relationship also develops between the writer and Vahid. Fraught with dangers the two embark on a journey neither could have anticipated as feelings develop.
As Klinec tries to extend her visa, the idea of becoming The Temporary Bride is born, the couple finally track down an Iman who will marry them. By this point I was totally engrossed in the story, a love that developed over a few weeks, obstacles to be overcome, two cultures that are poles apart. How could it ever end well? It’s possible in Iran to marry on a temporary basis, which gives the couple some legitimacy to be seen together, but the relationship is doomed as Klinec must return to London when her final visa extension runs out.
There’s a lovely twist to the tale at the end of The Temporary Bride. It’s a really enjoyable read, about food, love and a fascinating culture I knew little about. I have a feeling that Jennifer might approve of the post coming up later today.
disclaimer: we were sent this book in exchange for an honest review