Book Review: No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

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No More MulberriesNo More Mulberries by Mary Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No More Mulberries is an international contemporary drama written by Mary Smith and published in 2009. The story focuses on Miriam, a Scottish midwife, who has married two men from Afghanistan during her lifetime. The tale unfolds by jumping time frames across different chapters to share the reasons why Miriam’s life has become what it is today. At times, her days have been heartbreaking, and at others, they have been an admirable source of strength. I chose this book because I’d seen many positive reviews and it fit the parameters for my month of international and/or autobiographical reads. Let’s chat more about this complex and wonderful story…

Miriam had a wonderful husband and life, but he passed away. She had a young son to raise in Afghanistan during a difficult period in the country’s history, especially for a red-haired Scottish woman with strong beliefs about how things should be. Knowledgeable in medicine, she won over some of the village, yet she always knew she was viewed differently. Then, she remarried and had another child with the second husband. At first, they had a strong love. Although she’d converted to Muslim, her husband, Iqbal was careful to find a balance between his beliefs and her beliefs. While he could be strict, he was by no means radical or excessively controlling of his wife. As tension rises between them, Miriam revisits her past to understand why her first husband died. Through the process, her eyes are opened about her own blame in the new marriage as well as as what truly happened to her first beloved.

The story is rich with a supporting cast who provide laughter, love, fear, and pain. Smith eloquently shares a culture and a lifestyle with her audience, some who may know little about the Muslim faith or Afghani culture. While I’ve read a few other books focusing on this part of the world, they tended to stick to the religious aspects of the Middle East rather than the social aspects. I was glad to experience a different side of the life through this story and the author’s wonderful ability to showcase both the good and the bad.

Questions of parenting, forgiveness, pain, tolerance, and curiosity quickly enter a reader’s mind. What will become of someone who defies her husband? Who will stand by you when you have no one else to trust? How do you ensure the village listens to your advice on bearing a child when the culture dictates the complete opposite solution? This novel helped me understand a different mindset, and while it wasn’t necessarily one I agree with or support, I found a balance of alternative ideas and options to push me to think more critically. It’s a great experience, and one we should all have when reading a book about something different than our own knowledge.

A great find, and something that would be a benefit for all readers with an open mind, a curiosity about life outside their own culture, and a small glimpse into the world that many know from the outside but little know from the inside.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


26 thoughts on “Book Review: No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

    robertawrites235681907 said:
    July 12, 2019 at 1:27 PM

    What a great review of Mary’s book, Jay. I actually have this book and I am grateful for this reminder about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Jacquie Biggar said:
    July 12, 2019 at 1:56 PM

    I have this on my Kindle- wonderful review, James!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 12, 2019 at 2:11 PM

      Thank you! Highly recommend it. Tough in some parts (emotionally or to accept things) but worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    delphini510 said:
    July 12, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    Thanks James for another in depth review.
    I have read this book and was totally captivated. You are right about the complex and
    different ideas and events this book presents.


    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 12, 2019 at 4:38 PM

      Thank you! Did you review it? Would love to go check that out.

      Liked by 1 person

        delphini510 said:
        July 13, 2019 at 3:12 AM

        To my shame I have t admit that I haven’t as yet but with this reminder I will
        get round to it when I return home. It was more than worthy of a glowing review.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        July 13, 2019 at 7:26 AM

        No worries! Just didn’t want to miss out. It’s hard to get everything done, I understand.


    Mary Smith said:
    July 12, 2019 at 3:37 PM

    Thanks so much for such a great review, James. I’m really pleased you enjoyed No More Mulberries and liked the supporting cast of characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    Mary Smith said:
    July 12, 2019 at 3:40 PM

    Reblogged this on Mary Smith's Place and commented:
    I’m breaking my self-imposed blogging ban to share a lovely review of No More Mulberries from James Cudney, author of Watching Glass Shatter and the Braxton Campus series of cosy crime.


    Robert Matthew Goldstein said:
    July 12, 2019 at 4:24 PM

    Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    A thoughtful review of ‘No More Mulberries’ by Mary Smith

    Liked by 2 people

    Rosepoint Publishing said:
    July 12, 2019 at 7:46 PM

    Thank you for that excellent review and insight into cultural diversity. Sometimes it is difficult to see both sides with an open mind, especially when we think we know the problems.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      July 13, 2019 at 7:25 AM

      You are welcome. I agree, I often try to see the full picture. It’s not an easy approach, but it’s the most appropriate one. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    tidalscribe said:
    July 12, 2019 at 8:01 PM

    I really enjoyed this nove;l learning about somewhere so different and an interesting and complex story.

    Liked by 2 people

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    July 14, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    Great review James.. I loved the book and can recommend as well.. Congratulations Mary.. well deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    watchingthedaisies said:
    July 15, 2019 at 10:14 AM

    No More Mulberries is high on my list of favourite books Jay. I am glad Mary is attracting lovely reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    Marje @ Kyrosmagica said:
    July 15, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Great review for Mary’s book Jay. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    dgkaye said:
    July 15, 2019 at 7:46 PM

    Wonderful review for Mary’s book. Shared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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