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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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Joanna
  • Shingle Springs, CA, United States
  • 10-16-04

Hooked

I just couldn't stop listening.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's not really about cooking or Italy

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is really about a person's sexual awaking. Sicily and cooking are a backdrop. Everyone except the main character is Uni-dimensional, which makes it hard to get into the book.There really aren't any subplots or intricacies. I was interested to keep reading to see what happened to the main character, and the main character is interesting. However, the book would be so much better if it were more layered.

Would you ever listen to anything by Lily Prior again?

No

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous rich and complex yet simple story of cooking and lovemaking

This story filled my imagination and held me enthralled from start to finish. not for children.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill
  • NOVA
  • 03-14-12

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!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • Bellevue, NE, USA
  • 07-16-06

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Judith
  • Killeen, TX, USA
  • 04-03-06

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.