31/17 The Mistress of Spices

By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Lol you probably don’t know, but Aishwarya Rai did a movie based off the Mistress of Spices, and I’ve watched it aaages ago (cause it’s Aish, and because growing up there were like three English movies with brown people, and my family has seen all of them multiple times). So when I read this book I was so confused, haha. The Mistress of Spices is about Tito, who’s a shopkeeper from India and lands on this island and is trained in the magic of spices, helping customers fulfill their desires and satisfy their deepest needs. However, she falls for an American – and Native American – man called Raven. The spices have rules: no leaving the shop, no devotion to anyone except them, etc. She obviously breaks these.

I was confused because in the book, a huge point is that she’s not attractive because her duty is to the spices and not self – like, she can’t own a mirror or wear anything not given to her. And then they cast Aishwarya Rai?! Who was LITERALLY one of the most beautiful women in the world then? She won Miss World less than 10 years earlier! So, yes, would not recommend watching the movie before the book because the inconsistencies grated on me so bad! I read this in the hostel in Lisbon and I was just making weird grumbling noises from my bed for an hour – French guy on bed next to me was so confused.

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31/17 The Mistress of Spices

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