Two fabulous reviews from two great reviewers. Please visit the sites below and post comments.
A Garden Carried in Your Pocket (Review Excerpt)
This is a quiet book about loss and grief, about hope and commitment, about cultural differences, and about our common humanity. It is, above all, a success story in the sense that living, in spite of all its difficulties, is a worthy challenge.
Saffron Dreams addresses many serious problems (death of a loved one, prejudice, cultural differences, caring for a child with disabilities, and more), but in such a manner that allows us to see the ways human beings triumph over circumstances wrenched from their control and gradually find ways to re-adjust their dreams and move forward.
A beautifully written narrative that looks at the aftermath of Sept. 11 with a slightly different perspective, the book unfolds and blossoms with an unexpected tenderness while never denying the the myriad effects of tragedy.
Reader Views (Review Excerpt)
by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson
There are books that are beautiful simply because they are so positive and pleasant. And there are those that manage to be beautiful in spite of the pain and the suffering and the heartbreak contained within. Shaila Abdullah’s “Saffron Dreams” is both. Her writing is mesmerizing. On one hand it feels like a classically cut diamond – precise, sparkling, blindingly beautiful, but also incredibly sharp. On the other hand her writing reminds me of a dish I’ve often had traveling in India – a thali. Yes, I am very well aware of the fact that the author is Pakistani and not Indian, but many of the foods she mentioned in the book reminded me a lot of India, and that is probably why I thought of thali. Thali is usually a round metal tray with many compartments, each containing a different item, such as rice, dhal, different vegetables and curries, chutney, yoghurt and something sweet to finish. Each of those items complements or contrasts the others to perfection, and together they are some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. This is the way I feel about “Saffron Dreams.” It was comforting, it was funny, it was spicy; and then heartbreaking, full of despair, filled with hope, amazingly fresh and vibrant and satisfying. Following Arissa’s story makes the reader realize how little most of us know and understand the world of Muslims, and how incredibly wrong so many of our perceptions are.