Domestic Magic

The School of Essential Ingredients

By Erica Bauermeister

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Eight students gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. (from summary)
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The Mermaid Garden

By Santa Montefiore

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Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea just outside her small village. She likes to spy from the crumbling wall into the gardens and imagine that one day she'll escape her meager existence and live there surrounded by its other worldly splendor. Then one day Dante, the son of the villa's powerful industrialist owner, invites her inside and shows her the enchanting Mermaid Garden. (summary)
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Rose's Garden

By Carrie Brown

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In the four months since Conrad Morrisey's beloved wife, Rose, died, he has let her cherished garden slide into neglect, just as he has stopped caring what he eats or wears. But there, in Rose's overgrown and unkempt garden, Conrad receives an unearthly visitor, familiar yet perplexing...(S)uddenly he finds himself at the center of Rose's life in a way he'd never experienced, learning how she touched the lives of people he barely knew. (from summary)
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Like Water for Chocolate: a Novel in Monthly Installments, With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

By Laura Esquivel

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Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother. (summary)
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Pomegranage Soup

By Marsha Mehran

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The three Aminpour sisters escape the Iranian Revolution and make their way west to a small Irish village. There they pursue a well-worn path to assimilation by taking over an abandoned Italian bakery and opening the Babylon Cafe. It takes a while to win over the insular townsfolk, but they manage to make a success of their restaurant, charming even the local priest. (from BookList)
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The Mistress of Spices

By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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Tilo, a woman from India...is given immortality by the gods as long as she remains chaste. In her old age Tilo ends up in California, running a spice shop and helping immigrants. One day enters Raven, a handsome American, and Tilo transforms herself into a beautiful woman for a night of love. Now she must pay the price. (summary)
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Red Garden

By Alice Hoffman

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A young wounded civil war solider is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet falls in love with a blind man, and a mysterious traveler comes to town in the year when summer never arrives. At the center of everyone's life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look. (summary)
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Garden Spells

By Sarah Addison Allen

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The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. (from summary)
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