Sonia Saikaley

Author and Poet

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. 

Forthcoming in 2019 (Inanna Publications)

"This lovely story will have you empathize and root for Adele, a young woman caught in the cultural crosshairs of her parents' native country and their adopted land, who learns to listen closely and hear the strains of her brave new voice."

                                                  - Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Bestselling author of The Golden Son