A Handful of Honey: Away to the Palm Groves of Morocco and Algeria

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Pan Macmillan, Sep 4, 2008 - Travel
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Aiming to track down a small oasis town deep in the Sahara, some of whose generous inhabitants came to her rescue on a black day in her adolescence, Annie Hawes leaves her home in the olive groves of Italy and sets off along the south coast of the Mediterranean.

Travelling through Morocco and Algeria she eats pigeon pie with a family of cannabis farmers, and learns about the habits of djinns; she encounters citizens whose protest against the tyrannical King Hassan takes the form of attaching colanders to their television aerials - a practice he soon outlaws - and comes across a stone-age method of making olive-oil, still going strong. She allows a ten-year-old to lead her into the fundamentalist strongholds of the suburbs of Algiers - where she makes a good friend.

Plunging southwards, regardless, into the desert, she at last shares a lunch of salt-cured Saharan haggis with her old friends, in a green and pleasant palm grove perfumed by flowering henna: once, it seems, the favourite scent of the Prophet Mohammed. She discovers at journey's end that life in a date-farming oasis, haunting though its songs may be, is not so simple and uncomplicated as she has imagined.

Annie Hawes has legions of fans. Her writing has the well-built flow of fiction and the self-effacing honesty of a journal.

 

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User Review  - dianaleez - LibraryThing

I thoroughly enjoyed Annie Hawes' other books, but just couldn't get interested in this one. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
24
Section 3
37
Section 4
50
Section 5
64
Section 6
82
Section 7
106
Section 8
120
Section 14
234
Section 15
248
Section 16
261
Section 17
279
Section 18
293
Section 19
313
Section 20
323
Section 21
341

Section 9
141
Section 10
159
Section 11
180
Section 12
201
Section 13
218
Section 22
358
Section 23
374
Section 24
388
Section 25
410
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Annie Hawes, originally from Shepherd's Bush, divides her time between Liguria in Italy, the west coast of Ireland and Whitechapel in London. Her first book, Extra Virgin, was a worldwide bestseller and she has written two further books Ripe for the Picking and Journey to the South.

Bibliographic information