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Cooking for Picasso Audiobook

Cooking for Picasso: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

For listeners of Paula McLain, Nancy Horan, and Melanie Benjamin, this captivating novel is inspired by a little-known interlude in the artist's life.

The French Riviera, spring 1936: It's off-season in the lovely seaside village of Juan-les-Pins, where 17-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family-owned Café Paradis. A mysterious new patron who's slipped out of Paris and is traveling under a different name has made an unusual request - to have his lunch served to him at the nearby villa he's secretly rented, where he wishes to remain incognito.

Pablo Picasso is at a momentous crossroads in his personal and professional lives - and for him, art and women are always entwined. The spirited Ondine, chafing under her family's authority and nursing a broken heart, is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites. Her encounter with Picasso will continue to affect her life for many decades onward, as the great artist and the talented young chef both pursue their own passions and destinies.

New York, present day: Céline, a Hollywood makeup artist who's come home for the holidays, learns from her mother, Julie, that Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso. Prompted by her mother's enigmatic stories and the hint of more family secrets yet to be uncovered, Céline carries out Julie's wishes and embarks on a voyage to the very town where Ondine and Picasso first met. In the lush, heady atmosphere of the Côte d'Azur, and with the help of several eccentric fellow guests attending a rigorous cooking class at her hotel, Céline discovers truths about art, culture, cuisine, and love that enable her to embrace her own future.

Featuring an array of both fictional characters and the French Riviera's most famous historical residents, set against the breathtaking scenery of the South of France, Cooking for Picasso is a touching, delectable, and wise story illuminating the powers of trust, money, art, and creativity in the choices that men and women make as they seek a path toward love, success, and joie de vivre.

©2016 C. A. Belmond (P)2016 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Intrigue, art, food, and deception are woven together in a tale of love and betrayal around the life and legacy of Picasso. Touching and true, this well-written narrative made me long for my mother's coq au vin and for the sun of Juan-les-Pins." (Jacques Pépin, chef, TV personality, author)

"Camille Aubray has created a vividly imagined tale of a young French woman's life-changing encounter with the most unconventional artist of the modern age. Intriguing and insightful, the sensory details alone will have you thinking you're reading the pages seated at a seaside café in the South of France." (Susan Meissner, author of Secrets of a Charmed Life)

"Takes the reader on a heartfelt journey to the South of France.... In prose that is wise, atmospheric, and plain fun, Aubray expertly blends fact and fiction to create a rich and memorable tale." (Michelle Gable, New York Times best-selling author of A Paris Apartment)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (195 )
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4.6 (181 )
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4.7 (180 )
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  •  
    Becci OGDEN, UT, United States 01-03-17
    Becci OGDEN, UT, United States 01-03-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    I thought the narrator did a fantastic job with the accents. I was also happy with the fact that the book did not have the f bomb every other word and the sexual nature was just enough to be intriguing but not over the top.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 11-04-16
    Robin 11-04-16

    Photo is of my portuguese water dog, Sheila!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Varied locations, time periods, interesting!"

    I liked this book. Although the author moves back and forth between generations in this family saga, the transition is easy for the listener and really very interesting. The characters are the "meat" of this book, rather than situations. Recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    g.l. foster ranch marysville, CA USA 06-24-17
    g.l. foster ranch marysville, CA USA 06-24-17 Member Since 2012
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    17
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    "Slow to grip one into the tale, as the simple 1st chapters are literarily, uninspired, but..."

    Once evolved, this is a lovely, if not predictable, tale, for easy listening, within which I was eager to continue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    swamigoswami 06-15-17
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    1
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    "Outstanding"

    Wonderful descriptive writing, mixing geography, history, characterization, and suspenseful plot.
    Tightly constructed, without the excess verbiage seen in so many novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joycelyn 05-13-17
    Joycelyn 05-13-17 Member Since 2015
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    "One of the best books I've ever read!! From narration to writing it is absolutely divine."

    One of the most amazing books I've ever read, from your ration to writing the book is divine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bethany 05-10-17
    bethany 05-10-17
    ratings
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    9
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    Story
    "Frustrating story of classic victimhood"
    Would you try another book from C. A. Belmond and/or Mozhan Marno?

    Was so angry and disappointed in the way this book ended! Loved C. A. Belmond's A Rather Lovely series and the fact that although antagonists act outrageously the heroes eventually get justice or happiness. This book centered on three generations of women, all portrayed as weak and cowed, and unable to protect their daughters. It was very suspenseful and I was so looking forward to the third generation being smarter and stronger. Nope, the author sets everything up for a fantastic and satisfying happy ending and then yanks it out from under you leaving you feeling cheated of 9 hours and investment in the characters you thought would develop backbones over the course of the adventure.


    What could C. A. Belmond have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Had Celine stand up to her father when he and his children set things up to disinherit her mother from her own money at the beginning. Hello, she has a lawyer but can't do anything to help her Mom get some justice? Or give the Mom a chance to have a happy peaceful life in her twilight years in France with her daughter? Not had such horrible things happen to the Mom when she was young? Or had Ondine have a backbone in America and figure out how to keep their restaurant open? Many many places these women could have shown half the strength of other women of their day, and this would have been an enchanting story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger and disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Not sure I'll read anything further by this author. There's enough victimhood going around, don't need to idolize it in a book that misleads people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Riverside, CA, United States 05-04-17
    Marian Riverside, CA, United States 05-04-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Story"

    As I listened this just kept getting better. Loved the story of all these characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-30-17
    04-30-17
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    "I so enjoyed this book. I"

    t is one of those books that when you're finished, you miss the characters and wonder how they are doing now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer ANAHEIM, CA, US 03-19-17
    Amazon Customer ANAHEIM, CA, US 03-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    "No words can describe my joy in reading this book."

    I saw this book last year and the cover caught my eye but I didn't buy it because I was reading several books at the time. I ordered an Audible copy and it is the first time that I finished listening to a book in such a short time (46 chapters). The story and history were intertwined perfectly and it sent me off on a history search of the time and the artist. I truly loved this book, narrator and the author. Many compliments. I will now order a hard copy for keeps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Agatha Istanbul Chapel Hill, NC USA (and world traveler) 03-07-17
    Agatha Istanbul Chapel Hill, NC USA (and world traveler) 03-07-17 Member Since 2015

    classic film addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BEAUTIFUL STORY - EXCELLENT NARRATION!"

    This story soon captured my attention, and the excellent portrayal of each character's voice by the narrator soon had me completely immersed in listening to the book. It's such an interesting and plausible idea that this young woman would be intrigued by Picasso and fall prey to his romanticism herself. And knowing Picasso's reputation, it makes the story ring true. I loved that this book is a mystery love story that must unfold over generations in order to be understood. This story had my total attention and interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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