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Reviewed by Emilija Ryks for Readers' Favorite
A sweet but spicy journey from seed to table, The Life and Dreams of Pimientos de Padrόn by Katherine Anne Lee is a fascinating telling of this spicy Mexican dish. An interesting hybrid of poetry and prose, Katherine Anne Lee starts us off in the fields where the peppers will grow, and shows us the adventures faced by these plants at each stage of their growth. The plants give birth to the peppers, each pepper representative of the parent plant’s soul. The five peppers that start the book and the rest of the field are picked and taken across the ocean to realize their dreams of fulfilling their higher purpose. Packed with more adventure than might be expected of a story about peppers, Pimientos de Padrόn gives a thoughtful look at expectations and perceptions about ourselves and our futures.
Poetry, philosophy and fantasy beautifully woven into one! A cultural sampling that is as intriguing in its execution as it is in its concept. I enjoyed the relationship between the peppers and their true souls, represented in the names of their parent plants, Innocence, Clarity and Marvelous-Me. The life and dreams of Pimientos de Padrόn explores so many themes very neatly, but not in so much of an over the top way as to make it overpowering. This book can be read several times, with each experience one of learning and thinking about something different. Every reader’s experience will be different, just as our own souls are different. Katherine Anne Lee does an excellent job with her second novel, a crisp novel that was a pleasure to read.