Exquisite description, exotic details and vivid language combine in this fascinating story of three generations of strong and determined women.

Of Jewish background, Madame Gabrielle is a fabled courtesan who lives in her dazzling chateau with her daughter Francoise, who has followed her mother's career path, and her granddaughter Simone, who wishes to marry for love. Gabrielle's liaison with the Shah of Persia changes all their lives. Simone falls in love with the Jewish Persian jeweler of the Shah and follows him to Persia.

Mossanen's language soars as she sweeps readers from the lush bedrooms of the courtesans to the exotic locale of Persia then finally to the diamond mines of South Africa, taking the reader on a magical trip through history. This book is more sensual and satisfying than 10 pounds of chocolate, and you won't put on a pound. SENSUAL (Jul., 384 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor