Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Saffron Trail - Rosanna Ley

The Saffron TrailThe Saffron Trail by Rosanna Ley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once, there was a girl who loved saffron. She loved its secrets, its mystery, and best of all, she loved its hint of magic.
After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Her marriage may be on the rocks, but exploring the heady delights of Moroccan cuisine could help her fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant. 
It's there she meets Amy - a young photographer trying to unravel the story behind her family's involvement in the Vietnam War. The two women develop a close friendship and discover a surprising connection between their own pasts. 
This connection will take Nell and Amy on a journey to find their own 'saffron trail' - from the labyrinthine medina and bustle of Moroccan bazaars all the way back home to Cornwall and to the heart of their families' origins.

The Saffron Trail is a lovely written book, it's full of descriptive passages both of the country of Morocco and of Moroccan cuisine. I would have thought I'd love it and in parts I did but it was just too much descriptive content for me. The book could have been half the length without it and a much better read. I found the endless descriptions of every chapter distracted me from what was happening and in the end I skim read this missing out these passages and getting down to the conversation and what was happening.

Overall the story line was good but as I said pace was obstructed for me. The story has two main characters, Nell and Amy both of whom at the start don't know each other. They come together for the first time when they meet in Morocco. Nell has been given a birthday present from her husband Callum of a Moroccan cookery experience and Amy is visiting Morocco for a photo shoot to promote a Moroccan event for her gallery in Lyme Regis. Nell is recovering from the sudden and unexpected death of her mother and Amy is searching for her cousin Glenn. Amy is taking photos and including the Moroccan cookery course as part of her exhibition photos and meets with Nell. They seem to have an immediate bond with each other and become good friends over the week of the trip. Secondary characters are introduced over the course of the story and it flows along nicely bringing the lives of the two main characters together.

I won't spoil the story by giving anything away suffice it to say that there is a nice twist and it's not entirely predictable which was a nice surprise. As I said it was just too wordy and too long for me, I was in danger of not finishing it which would have been a shame as it deserves to be read to the end. I can give this 3.5 stars but it would have been more if it had been shorter - descriptions of saffron are lovely but really once was enough without labouring the point and endless passages of descriptive narrative on cuisine smells were for me overkill.

I have rounded it up to 4 stars for goodreads and Amazon. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

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