“Seeing Ceremony merges new with the traditional. It’s one girl’s journey for self-discovery that is full of all kinds of love and of course, the food! I loved every moment.”
Seeing Ceremony is a rich coming of age novel, full of myth and legend, romance, and the heady tastes and scents of India. It is a love letter to both place and family—the ingredients that make home home. Meera Klein is a natural born story teller—I felt as if I were sitting at the kitchen table as she told me this story—and Seeing Ceremony is truly a feast for ALL of the senses. A true delight.
Author of The Late Bloomers’ Club and The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living
There’s a bravado in Meera Klein’s Seeing Ceremony, as expansive a courage as there is in eighteen-year old Meena, a daughter determined to reject an arranged marriage in tradition-bound Indian culture where elders match a groom by religion, profession, caste, and horoscope. To witness her own mother’s supportive objections to the ceremony is to know the limits of the heart’s misguided ties to repressive gender-based fealties. Only a father’s legacy of a spice plantation’s comforting presence inspires the primal force to pursue studies in America, a world-education beyond her own. Klein’s rhythmically mastered cadence follows Meena’s pilgrimage to independence with an extravagant feast of sensory imagery, from taro roots and the Keatsian-styled spice scents of biryani and cardamon to the metaphoric ritual of devotees walking Irumudi sacks up the 18 steps of the Ayappan Temple. Such is the universality of experience in Klein’s writing as aromas of food and exotic landscapes nurture those who inhabit Meena’s world of Mahagiri, from an aunty matchmaker to a fortune teller to a young man whose chance meeting impassions him to join Meena’s enlightened quest to rediscover change as the only thing that is constant. What a delightfully romantic excursion Klein makes of it. You will be seduced if not educated by the intertwining narratives of change as the primal force that brings her back to her beloved Mahagiri, a fertile place of hope and renewal, the very qualities that define this wondrous book.
– James Ragan
Author of The Hunger Wall and Too Long a Solitude