Writer’s Digest Critique, October 2013

 

I entered Mint Tea and Minarets in the following contest, and though it didn’t

win, I appreciated the critique:

 

21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards

 

Entry Title: Mint Tea + Minarets:  a banquet of Moroccan Memories

 

Author: Kitty Morse

 

Judge Number: 54

 

Entry Category: Nonfiction

 

October 2013

 

Judges Commentary*:

 

Mint Tea and Minarets                                                  Moroccan

customs and cuisine are vividly captured in this absorbing memoir that also

offers an intriguing familial history involving property. Chapters are

interspersed with abundant recipes for choice appetizers, entrees and drinks.

The colorful blend of Arabic and French influences, as well as languages, deepen

the sweeping cultural interest. One can get the feel and pulse of Moroccan life

through the eyes of the author, who was born in Morocco. The dialogue enhances

the style and pace of Moroccan life. Many fine atmospheric photos – of places,

people and foods – grace the pages of the oversized book. The writing is

personal and filled with many revealing insights while deftly describing the

author’s many experiences in her homeland with a variety of people. Chapter

breaks enable smooth reading. Many of the photos, though, lack captions so the

reader doesn’t know what destination is shown or other pertinent information. A

World War II message from President Roosevelt, signed by General Eisenhower, is

only shown in French and Arabic but not in English (Author’s NOTE: It doesn’t

exist in English! it was meant for “locals.”) The recipes with accompanying

photos have all the needed ingredients spelled out in clear detail. Maps — one

historical – offer another dimension but another map showing Morocco’s place in

North Africa would be useful. A glossary of terms and foods used in the book is

an excellent touch. The cover design is very visual and the clever title is a

tongue pleaser.”  October 2013

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