Audiobooks Sunshine Soup; Nourishing the Global Soul –

Maya S World Is About To Be Rocked To Its Core Her Husband Has Uprooted The Family And Transported Them To Dubai Whilst Maya Is Ready To Be The Supportive Expat Wife And Mother, The Culture Change Hits Hard And Her Life UnravelsBarb Seems To Be Her Lifeline, Energetically Involving Maya In Groups And Activities, But The Sands Under Barb S Feet Are Shifting As She Discovers The Empty Shell Her Life Has Become Her Loving Husband Barely Talks To Her When They Re Not With Company And Seems To Think That An Unlimited Credit Card Is The Answer To Wedded BlissTwo Very Different Women, Their Husbands, Children And Friends Are All Put Under The Microscope As They Discover What Really Matters And How Close They Came To Losing It All

10 thoughts on “Sunshine Soup; Nourishing the Global Soul

  1. says:

    Sunshine Soup is the story of a group of expat women in Dubai who are trying to travel through the culture shock, loss of identity, and depression so often associated with an overseas move The story starts with Maya, a newcomer who misses her friends, her delicatessen and her kitchen When she gets the stamp in her passport saying Wife Not Allowed to Work , she is shocked, and has to rediscover her identity without the business she built and loved back at home Early on she meets Barb, a super expat wife who is so busy volunteering, meeting and helping that she neglects herself and has never really dealt with past grief A number of other women with different experiences and reasons for being in Dubai come into the scene, and we meet many of the typical types of expats.But while the main characters may be typical in some ways, they are not caricatures, or one dimensional The characters are layered and interesting, and definitely draw you into the story This is also helped by the fact that the book starts at just the right point The story starts where the action starts, and the background is woven in throughout, making it a far interesting read I was into the story from the start, and wanted to find out what happened.Sunshine Soup really nails an often ignored aspect of expat life That it s just ordinary life, but in another country It s so easy to glamourise this life after all, staying in a lovely sunny climate, with lots of new experiences and travels, and often a fairly lavish lifestyle is pretty easy to glamourise But the reality is that ordinary things still happen People grieve, people are tempted, people are sullen, work is hard sometimes, teenagers are teenagers And this book captures all of that reality throughout.However, at the end, I lost the plot a little no, I didn t go crazy, I just wasn t quite so engaged with the story I think the end was a little rushed, and a few storylines were a bit out of the blue for me I also thought that the connection with food was a little bit forced There were times where it fitted in seamlessly and made me really hungry , but other times where I felt like the story was being pushed in slightly unnatural directions.Overall, I think that this book would be particularly great for anyone about to head on their first expat adventure, as well as anyone who has already been through the experience There are plenty of characters and experiences to relate to And I love to engage with life experiences through fiction I far prefer this format to a memoir, where the constraints of reality can so easily be detrimental to the plot Sunshine Soup is a great read, and will resonate particularly strongly with global souls But the writing and story is accessible enough that anyone could enjoy it, whether they see themselves as a global soul trailing spouse expat traveller or not.Rating 3.5 stars.

  2. says:

    This is a novel every expat woman will enjoy, even if their experiences don t exactly match those of the very human and likeable characters in this story They will recognise the familiar challenges of moving abroad and establishing themselves again in a new environment Maya, the first heroine in this story, moves to Dubai with her family I found the early chapters about her settling in there almost too tough going to read, they so accurately reflected the difficulties and oppression of an independent woman suddenly thrust into a constricting way of life As a housewife Maya isn t allowed to work, and her over zealous housemaid Annie does her best to keep her out of the kitchen How can Maya fill her time But luckily there s Barb, the second major female figure in this book We all know a Barb, the indefatiguable organiser who comes up with new ideas and projects to help new arrivals settle in motivates everyone into action Barb is bright and cheery, at least outwardly However, she has a sad secret which she finds harder to bear And over the years she s grown apart from husband Bill so life isn t all roses, even though she has the money and time to live a life of pampered leisure Maya gradually settles in, mainly through reclaiming her place in the kitchen and creating recipes that incorporate local ingredients into familiar English dishes She finds voluntary work and begins to feel happy and at home But then Rich, her husband, starts acting very strangely and worrying about money Maya is up in the air again and then her ex appears on the scene Things start to get dangerous Barb s sadness becomes harder to bear, but for both women events take several unexpected turns but eventually they both find happiness again This is a cleverly structured and fascinating novel The characters, which include electronic device addicted teenagers, native men, a huge mix of expat women to name but a few, are rounded and interact realistically The settings are always described in detail and you feel you re there with the characters The icing on this cake, or rather the topping on this delicious soup, is the collection of wonderful recipes at the back of the book I m busily working my way through.All in all, a great read from a talented writer More please Jo

  3. says:

    Maya Winter moves to Dubai with her two young sons when her pilot husband gets a job with a local airline She is uneasy at first, feeling disconnected from her routine and career in the UK and self conscious about her untoned thighs that resembled cold porridge , but she soon settles into the life of an expatriate mother school runs, shopping in the souks, coffee mornings, ladies who lunch , Reiki treatments, a book club She teaches her Indian housegirl to cook a la Delia Smith and starts a Blog on Cookery and Life in Dubai Her new best friend is Barb, a Texas oilman s wife, full of good intentions and Bacardi, an ardent Republican who is duly horrified when Obama gets the keys to the White House Barb has a son in middle school but she s still grieving for her daughter still born seven years ago.Thanks to Barb Maya becomes involved in a Good Cause and meets a charismatic widowed Arab who in one of the book s most vivid chapters shows her the dunes and wadis beyond the cranes and high rises of downtown Dubai Both Maya s and Barb s marriages go through a rocky patch This happened to many marriages when I was in the Gulf, but let s face it, it does everywhere This was a delight to read, showing the sunny joys and minor discomforts of life in a forty degree climate The author prints 35 pages of her yummy recipes at the end The emphasis on cooking gives the book pleasing echoes of the blog that become a book that became Nora Ephron s movie Julie Julia Perhaps Jo Parfitt will be lucky enough to see Meryl Streep in the film of her novel

  4. says:

    In her debut novel,expatriate author Jo Parfitt explores the issues of so called trailing spouses those who follow their husbands as they are transferred by their employers from country to country In this case, the spouses are in oil rich Dubai, where the majority of workers are foreigners.Maya, from Great Britain, has gone willingly In fact, it was she who encouraged her pilot husband to accept a job in an exotic foreign post, however once she gets there, she finds herself missing her previous life as a deli owner, and irritated by the constant presence of her maid Barb, an American, has been dragged along Both women, however, are trying to make the best of their situations, even after it becomes clear that as accompanying wives, they are barred from working in their host country.Not only do they have to get used to living in Dubai, but also they must learn how to deal with the cultural differences of spouses of different nationalities While the Americans are often presented at their worst stereotypically overweight, overbearing and Obama hating Parfitt deserves credit for creating sensitive, enlightened even romantic Arabian male characters The novel is rich with the sights and sounds and tastes of Dubai As an added bonus, Parfitt, the author of two cookbooks, has provided recipes at the back of the book.

  5. says:

    Sunshine Soup, Nourishing the Global Soul is a novel about being an expat the excitements, the challenges and the feelings of isolation and loneliness familiar to so many of us with each new posting Through her characters, Maya and Barbara, Parfitt explores the undercurrents of the expat lifestyle.To many, being an expat suggests wealth, glamour and a constant party lifestyle My own experience has been that it is very much a life like any other, only somewhere else, sometimes hotter, sometimes with snow on the inside window ledge To my mind, Parfitt nails this aspect perfectly Maya might live in hot and sunny Dubai with a live in maid, but her teenage sons are still sullen and taciturn, her marriage still has difficulties and setting up her own business is still rife with issues It is how the expat deals with these common or garden problems without a built in support network that makes the story interesting that and the delicious recipes that Parfitt includes at the back of the novel And yes, I really recommend the Sunshine Soup of the title Dubai has never really appealed to me as a place to live or to visit but Parfitt s descriptions of the old town with its fascinating souks, the wind towers and the wonderful picnic to the desert with a local resident have changed both my perspective and my mind.Now, where s my guidebook to Dubai .

  6. says:

    I downloaded this book on my kindle because I know the author and have read her Poetry book Moving Landscapes which I loved This book is a fiction story about a woman following her husband for work It is written from the viewpoint of the wife and how she copes in the adjustment of living in a foreign country away from friends, family, and her career The expat wife is forced to find her identity that isn t tied to her career and tries to play the role of the housewife only to find that the house maid has assumed the role of taking care of the home, cooking when she lets her and cleaning She struggles at first but then finds her footing in her little expatriate community to feel like she belongs in society again A good easy read for anyone who has lived in the expatriate world.

  7. says:

    I have to confess to knowing the author, but that s not why I gave it five stars Sunshine Soup offers a believable and engrossing account of expats living in Dubai the highs, the lows, the golden handcuffs and the potential heartache that is often disguised by the glamorous veneer of living overseas If you have been an expat, this will resonate if not, you will be fascinated by this glimpse beyond the glitter Dubai has heart and soul it is not just a tourist playground with no substance and those who live there have real lives with real issues A novel that goes beyond the glitz is rare and very welcome.

  8. says:

    I found it impossible not to be drawn in to this book The characters are strikingly drawn and developed, the plot is compelling and the sights and sounds of Dubai form an evocative backdrop to a hugely enjoyable story of loss, intrigue and redemption As an expat myself, I found the the story of Maya the book s main character s very believable and for me that makes this novel a really welcome addition And yes, there is an actual recipe for Sunshine Soup at the end of the book, along with 19 others a nice touch I gave it to a girl friend of mine and she hasn t stopped talking about it.

  9. says:

    A fun and easy read about expat life in the Middle East Clich but enjoyable.

  10. says:

    Loved it full of moments that ring true