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La Cucina | [Lily Prior]

La Cucina

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

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.

Executive Producer: Dan Zitt
Producer: Bob Walter
Jacket design and illustration by Honi Werner
©2000 by Lily Prior
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Succulent saga...with a sensuous tone, a folkloric narrative style and most original set of characters, La Cucina could well satisfy the hungriest of appetites". - (People Magazine)
"Prior cooks up a cinematic yarn full of characters so rich you'll fear they're fattening, but readers will be sure to splurge on this saucy tale chock full of sex, recipes, and murder." - (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (75 )
5 star
 (23)
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3.9 (7 )
5 star
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4.2 (6 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Harry Huntington Station, NY, USA 07-30-03
    Harry Huntington Station, NY, USA 07-30-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good story, very well told ..."

    This charming story combines cooking and sex in equal portions (okay, just a little more cooking than sex) and is all the better for Lisa Passero's well accented narration -- it's an easy, if not compelling, yarn to listen to and you'll probably be as reluctant as I was to have to hit the pause button occasionally. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-07-07
    03-07-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    1
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    "Molto Moods"

    Here we have "Under the Tuscan Sun" meets "The Godfather", meets "Harlquin Romances" meets "Penthouse Forum ". Something for everyone, whether you want it or not. Makes for an interesting listen while in your car with your spouse for 6 hours. The one things we were wondering --- did the author actually taste the "fried calf's brains" recipe she offers in the narrative? She certainly doesn't menton how it tasted. Oh well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Rogers-Tomer Old Town, Maine United States 02-16-06
    Linda Rogers-Tomer Old Town, Maine United States 02-16-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Linda from Maine"

    Anyone who understands the place of food in passion and love will get why this is a wonderful book. The reader is fabulous, and the images engendered involved numerous senses and were terrific. I had to restart this before I was really able to hear it, so give it a chance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Shingle Springs, CA, United States 10-16-04
    Joanna Shingle Springs, CA, United States 10-16-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hooked"

    I just couldn't stop listening.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill 03-14-12
    Bill 03-14-12 Member Since 2009
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    "You will never think of tomato sauce the same way"

    This is a very entertaining book. We all know that our senses of smell and taste are powerful, We also know that food is a primal urge. Finally, we know that sex is a powerful emotion. Now all come together in a book about Sicily, people, and food. A very entertaining read that will leave you wanting more...you just have to devide more of which!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeahH Australia 10-24-09
    LeahH Australia 10-24-09 Member Since 2007

    Leah Hobbs

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    7
    Overall
    "Delightful adults fairy tale!"

    It's not often that I finish an audio book and search madly for another one by the same author!

    I didnt want this story to end, the descriptive nature of this book is "delicious" very "saucy" in lots of ways!! It will leave you licking your lips at the thought of all that wonderful food!

    Highly recommended, wish I could find more of a similar nature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Bellevue, NE, USA 07-16-06
    Mary Bellevue, NE, USA 07-16-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little Shocking"

    Okay, don't get me wrong, this book was very good, and the narrator has a wonderful talent. The sexual parts are a little bit graphic, so if your not 18 stay away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Killeen, TX, USA 04-03-06
    Judith Killeen, TX, USA 04-03-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    "Very Italian"

    "La Cucina (unabridged)" was a very entertaining novel. The story of this pasta maker is intriguing. I almost wanted to try making my own. It was sometimes hard to follow, but that was due to my listening skills, not the storyline. I'm just learning to read with my ears instead of my eyes. I recommend this as light, entertaining reading (or listening) to anyone who loves to cook and finds peace in the kitchen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan bergenfield, NJ, USA 02-27-06
    Susan bergenfield, NJ, USA 02-27-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Listen"

    I enjoyed La Cucina so much that I listened to it in one day. The characters are colorful and the narrator is fabulous. I recommend this book highly. I hope that Lily Prior will have her other books put on audio. Until then I'm off to the library so I can read them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 12-24-06
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 12-24-06 Member Since 2005

    malfi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Written Like a Recipe"

    In other words, it was formulaic. Thin plot based on stereotypes, main character based on stereotypes, formulaic sex scenes thrown in at regular points (with food porn added). It really irritated me that the passionate love of her life was called only l'Inglese. Would you want a lover who referred to you only as "The American"? Listen to Like Water for Chocolate instead--it does what this book attempts to do.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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