The Allspice Bath: a novel
The Allspice Bath: a novel
By: Sonia Saikaley
The Allspice Bath is a bold story about the cultural gap and the immigrant experience. Told from the perspective of a remarkable young woman, the reader experiences a journey of possibilities, healing and forgiveness. Spices are scattered throughout the novel as the reader dips pita bread in olive oil, celebrates, belly-dances and smells herbs on the pages of this brilliant tale of tradition and the weight children of immigrants sometimes bear while trying to find a balance between the old and new worlds.
The story opens with Samira Azar questioning her newborn daughter why she was born a girl and not a boy. In the hospital room, the reader is introduced to the Azar family: Youssef, the domineering father; Samira, the quiescent mother; Rima, Katrina and Mona, the traditional daughters. Then there is the baby, not yet named, because the parents were hoping for a boy. Youssef is very disappointed that he will not have a son to continue his family name and he blames his wife for this “misfortune”. In the end, a nurse names the little child ‘Adele’ and so begins the life of this strong, yet conflicted, girl who must define herself in the realms of her Middle Eastern family.
The novel will be launched in Ottawa in June 11th at Octopus Books.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Sonia Saikaley was the daughter of a Lebanese family. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her first book, The Lebanese Dishwasher, co-won the 2012 Ken Klonksy Novella Contest. Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter, was Saikaley’s first collection of poetry and was published in 2012. Her second collection, A Samurai’s Pink House, debuted 2017 and was published by Inanna Publications. She is currently working on a novel, Jasmine Season on Hamra Street. In the past, Saikaley taught English in Japan.
Published by Innana Publications and Education Inc., an independent feminist press company in Canada. They are committed to publishing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction about by and women to give new perspectives and enhance the lives of women around the world. Their mission is to maintain a publishing space committed to feminist values to ensure that marginalized women can tell their stories. Their goal is to make various feminist topics available and to educate others on diverse feminist values across Canada and the world.
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