Op werkdagen voor 16:00 uur besteld, volgende dag in huis

Yara, a Lebanese woman, describes her past and present in terms of the scents of the souks, the odors of the street, the perfumes of soap and perfume shops, the smell of her mother’s cooking, the colognes of her male friends and husband. She is admittedly hypersensitive to her olfactory surroundings, and associates many of these with memories dear to her, recalling Proust’s evocative madeleines. She is forbidden by her father to marry a non-Muslim, yet the memory of her Jewish first boyfriend’s cologne represents the essence of sensuality for her. When she agrees to marry her Muslim cousin whose smell repulses her, to satisfy her father’s wishes, she is plunged into despair and experiences a series of personal and family tragedies. When she subsequently loses her sense of smell, this becomes both a blessing and a curse, as she is content not to be plagued by some disturbing odors, but finds that memories connected to smells also begin to disappear, creating a certain loss of self. The inner monologue which documents this emotionally charged loss, also seductively evokes the Lebanese cultural context via her choice of colorful details. This great novel will captivate all readers.

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