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La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture by Lily Prior
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La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture

by Lily Prior

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Readable but not very good. Set in Sicily, you can tell the author is not Italian. The characters are stereotypes rather than real people - there is more to the Italian people than sex, food and the Mafia. The sex scenes were flat and a little cringe worthy. There was a lot of detailed description of cooking that was not necessary and did not add to the story. I found it hard to identify with anyone but the main character and even she was not very well developed. I will not be recommending this book to anyone. ( )
  nebula21 | Apr 3, 2015 |
Rosa is an amazing Sicilian woman, and the book follows her recipes, loves and losses.

Rosa is the dutiful daughter of a Sicilian family, brought up to be a good woman, she falls for the wrong man. Bartolomeo is engaged to another, and their love affair is doomed, leaving Rosa distraught. In grief, Rosa throws herself into cooking, so much so that her family can not cope with the quantity of food she makes.

She breaks away from her domineering family to Palermo, where she buries herself in her library until an Englishman reignites her passion for love and life.

Through Rosa, Prior whets our appetite for Italian cuisine, as Rosa creates mouthwatering dish after dish. Other ingredients include the long arm of the Mafia, family feuds, love and passion served up with a large pinch of humour.

I had just finished The Magic Mountain before reading this, and found it to be complete indulgence after such a heavy tome. Fluffy, but great for a lazy Sunday morning, that's why I gave it 3 stars. ( )
  soffitta1 | Jan 27, 2012 |
La Cucina by Lily Prior is exactly what its subtitle suggested – a story of rapture. Set in Sicily, this story centered on Rosa – a librarian who used cooking as a way to deal with life’s stresses. She met “L’Inglese” – an English chef – at her library, and immediately sparks flew between them. Between the great food and sex, the two shared a wonderful summer of love under the sun. This part of the novel was steamy in more ways than one!

Then, L’Inglese disappeared, leaving Rosa in total despair. She returned to her family’s farm, spending time with her aging mother, her gaggle of brothers and the great “cucina” where she could cook away her sorrows. At the farm, Rosa rediscovered the joys of farm life and being surrounded by those you love.

La Cucina was, at the basic level, a story about delicious food and sex. For the latter, this book will not be everyone. The sex scenes were gratuitous but not vulgar, but if you don’t like to read about sex, then stay clear of this book. If you love food, however, this is the book for you.

This was the debut novel by Lily Prior, and her “rookiness” showed. Her depictions of Sicily – the sights, sound and smells – were rapturous in themselves. However, the pace of this novel was off, especially at the end where a hundred (important) things were crammed in. I wish Prior made another revision to tighten the time frames. But La Cucina kept me turning its pages, hoping that Rosa found peace and love. In the end, that’s really what I wish for in a book. ( )
  mrstreme | Jul 26, 2009 |
I really HATED this book; it made me conscious of being manipulated. First, the many sex scenes are formulaic; after awhile, I started to count the pages between them, and there was a definite pattern in their regularity. Second, the main character is not in any way sympathetic (and not very interesting either). Third, the author isn't doing anything here in terms of the relation to food that wasn't done better in Like Water for Chocolate. Don't waste your time on this garbage. ( )
  Cariola | May 25, 2009 |
In the beginning of the book I was surprised there was no film of it yet, as there are loads of scenes that could be very visually interesting. But I understood later that it could be quite difficult to incorporate all the sex scenes without making it an X-rated film. The story was quite sensual, both in the food and the sex department, with some surrealist touches. If it were to be made into a film, it should be directed by Peter Greenaway. The narration was quite clumsy though, too much "but I wasn't to find out about X later". Those devices weren't necessary either, the story is gripping enough by itself. I wasn't sure about the treatment of Silician culture either: the author is clearly fascinated by it but it always stays weird, you don't really get to share it, understand the weirdness. ( )
  wester | Dec 15, 2008 |
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Lily Priorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meijer, JokeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060953691, Paperback)

Since childhood, Rosa Fiore -- daughter of a sultry Sicilian matriarch and her hapless husband -- found solace in her family's kitchen. La Cucina, the heart of the family's lush estate, was a place where generations of Fiore women prepared sumptuous feasts and where the drama of extended family life was played out around the age-old table.

When Rosa was a teenager, her own cooking became the stuff of legend in this small community that takes pride in the bounty of its landscape and the eccentricity of its inhabitants. Rosa's infatuation with culinary arts was rivaled only by her passion for a young man, Bartolomeo, who, unfortunately, belonged to another. After their love affair ended in tragedy, Rosa retreated first into her kitchen and then into solitude, as a librarian in Palermo. There she stayed for decades, growing corpulent on her succulent dishes, resigned to a loveless life.

Then, one day, she meets the mysterious chef, known only is I'Inglese, whose research on the heritage of Sicilian cuisine leads him to Rosa's library, and into her heart. They share one sublime summer of discovery, during which I'lnglese awakens the power of Rosa's sensuality, and together they reach new heights of culinary passion. When I'Inglese suddenly vanishes, Rosa returns home to the farm to grieve for the loss of her second love. In the comfort of familiar surroundings, among her, growing family, she discovers the truth about her loved ones and finds her life transformed once more by the magic of her cherished Cucina.

Exuberant and touching, La Cucina is a magical evocation of lifes mysterious seasons and the treasures found in each one. It celebrates family, food, passion, and the eternal rapture of romance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Rosa Fiore is a solitary middle-aged librarian in rural Sicily. She has resigned herself to a loveless life, and expresses her passionate nature through her delicious cooking.

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