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La Cucina

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,615 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
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
Paperback, 263 pages
Published September 18th 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Darth J
Jul 11, 2014 Darth J rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Okay guys, remember all the hype surrounding Eat, Pray, Love - about how it was all about the food and the celebration of being your own person? And then you read it and found it to be a pretty vapid and pretentious travelogue? Well, then La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture might actually satisfy you if you are looking for something similar to what was promised with that other book.

Not only are there a ton of mouth-watering descriptions of Sicilian cooking, but the prose is actually scrumptio
Apr 23, 2008 Rosie rated it did not like it
I felt like I needed to include a book I didn't like. I really, really, really disliked this book. The author peppers the story with Italian words, but never really captures Italian culture. She resorts to some tired stereotypes - the ignorant peasant girl, the possessive father who uses the words "dishonor" and "puttana" way too much, the fat middle-aged woman, the Mafia taking out a foreigner, etc. This left me cold. I couldn't sympathize with the characters because they were so two-dimensiona ...more
Jul 24, 2014 Albert rated it really liked it
Title - La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture

Author - Lily Prior

Summary -

This is the tale of Rosa Fiore, a peasant Sicilian girl who grows up in a passionate household and who in her way finds her own passions. From the men she loves to the cooking she does.
Rosa's family has always been suspect in her small village. Her mother's powerful and lustful ways the stuff of much gossip. Until the birth of her brothers, Siamese twins, proof of her mother's wickedness the gossip was always in whispers.
For Ro
Aug 16, 2013 Sve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Слаба ракия като цяло. Нещо като смесица между "50 нюанса сиво" и "Като гореща вода за шоколад".
Изключително дразнещо е че книгата е пълна с грешки - не е минавала през редактор и коректор.
Aug 26, 2014 Tanya rated it really liked it
La Cucina se passe au début du 20e siècle. C’est l’histoire de Rosa, une jeune italienne qui adore faire la cuisine. Elle soulage ses inquiétudes, ses joies, ses colères etc. en faisant à manger pour sa famille et elle-même. Lorsque son amoureux est assassiné, elle quitte sa campagne natale pour aller vivre sa vie en ville. Elle y passera près de 25 ans de sa vie comme bibliothécaire. À l’aube de ses 25 ans de service, elle rencontre un étranger avec lequel s’ensuivra une relation myst
Linda Robinson
Dec 02, 2015 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing
A friend loaned this book; her mother loaned it to her because she said it made her laugh. I didn't laugh but I sure enjoyed reading this story of passion, in all rooms of the house and in the garden as well. The cover is rich and so is the story. La Cucina is the kitchen where the life of the cooks in the household takes place. Rosa Flores is a cook - kneading dough calms her, creating an elaborate dish lets her forget her pain. A sumptuous read.
Aug 23, 2009 Dale rated it really liked it
What a fun and racy read! The lead character, Rosa, is easy to fall in love with. I found myself in my own daydreams that included the wonderful aroma of her cooking – if only I could have sat at her table for samples! And thank goodness she met L’Inglese in his ‘come to bed shoes’ – I will never look at men’s shoes the same again…

Thank you, Rosa, for inspiring me to bake fresh bread last night; it was delicious! And thanks to Bebe for recommending this book as it is a fun and interesting peek i
Jun 10, 2013 Jane rated it did not like it
Definitely a page turner: I read it in less than three hours. However, I didn't enjoy it as the love interest's personality was repellent. For example, "[he] waved me ahead of him up the spiral staircase. I had reached halfway before I realized that he had positioned himself directly underneath and was looking up my skirts. I tried to gather the material close around my legs so he could not see anything, but in truth, he had already seen everything. He smiled broadly at my discomfort." Urgh. Als ...more
Jul 25, 2009 Danielle rated it did not like it
Nothing actually happened in this book. There was far too much second person narration (of which there should never be any, honestly). It didn't really capture anything special about italian culture, and actually put me off eating some of the dishes as they ate them off of eachother. Spaghetti in your hair actually does not sound delicious or sensual, just dirty and hairy. And it made me gag a little. I was not in rapture by the end of this anticlimactic, antinarrative book.
Sep 27, 2013 Julie rated it did not like it
Shelves: bizzaro, execrable
This novel is much too easy to mock, and so I dare not, since I might get carried away. The author raises "food porn" to a whole new level, and I don't mean in a good way. OK, I just can't help myself: one teensy little mockery: the narrator is more full of herself than a Mario Batali cannoli! Read at your peril. (Or if you want to laugh out loud, when you really shouldn't.) On the other hand ... maybe it was meant to be this funny.
Mar 06, 2016 Malloreon rated it really liked it
Lily Prior is now one of my favorite authors. I love everything from her style of writing to her very unique imagination. The only thing that pains me about Lily Prior is her novels are too short. She has so many interesting plot points and characters in her writing that simply get glossed over due to her penchant to keep her novels short and sweet. I liken Lily Prior to 'Haruki Murakami Lite.'
Jan 03, 2014 MaryAnn rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Makes you want to cook, eat and have lots of sex!
Leigh Denton
Feb 13, 2016 Leigh Denton rated it liked it
A scrumptious and sensual tour through the life of a Sicilian woman who truly loves food and cooking; spiced with the drama and larger-than-life characters you expect from the early to mid-20th century landscape that was rural and urban Sicily. Enjoy the awakening of a woman pigeonholed by her era and gender, until great change is wrought by the arrival of a foreigner ("l'inglese", no less) who transports her into a life-changing romance. Savour the characters, the detailed descriptions of the s ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Katie rated it it was ok
I feel sorta bad panning this book as it was my dear mother who recommended it to me. It was certainly a pleasant diversion, but it was a bit... pardon the pun... half-baked. The romance was not particularly substantive, with bodice ripper overtones dominating and little development. I most enjoyed the descriptive scenes of the kitchens themselves and the food that was being prepared. It definitely felt like someone did only the barest research to get a sense of Sicilian culture. Fun but a bit v ...more
Jo Anne
Dec 22, 2013 Jo Anne rated it liked it
If you are a foodie, you will enjoy reading this book. There are no recipes included, but thanks to that little thing called The Internet, all recipes can easily be found.

The book is basically about food, and sex. Eating food during sex. Having sex using food as props. Cooking to stave off sorrow and loneliness for a lost lover.

La Cucina can be compared to Like Water for Chocolate but without all the magical properties assigned the food. If you want something more straightforward read Julie and
Nzinga Foster-Brown
Apr 28, 2015 Nzinga Foster-Brown rated it it was ok
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 ...more
The Cats Mother
Sue brought this to book club, she's long had a thing for books about Italy and food; it sat on the shelf for a while as the reviews were unenthusiastic, but it looked like a quick read and I'm trying to clear as many books from the pile as I can before our next meeting, so gave it a go. What can I say, I finished it, and it's not as bad as expected, but it's not great.
The story is OK - what there is of it - only daughter Rosa grows up on a farm in Sicily in the 1920s surrounded by her dominatin
Mar 04, 2015 Megan rated it did not like it
Shelves: cooking-food
"...we sucked and sucked at one another, paddling with our hungry tongues."

This is one of the worst books I've ever read. It alternated between cliche, trite, badly written, and ridiculous. If the author could have focused solely on the cooking, culture, and crime aspects of the novel, it would have been half decent in spite of the total abuse of punctuation (averaging 2 comma errors per page).

However, the romance portions of the book were absolutely atrocious. Many of the interactions between
Aug 13, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, food
La Cucina was a quick and engaging read that I enjoyed quite a bit.

The tale follows the life and loves of Rosa Fiore whose gifts with food were legendary in her Sicilian village and expressed her passions and sensuality in a socially appropriate way. After a tragedy occurs in her home village, Rosa sets off to Palermo and becomes a librarian where, 25 years later, she meets L'Inglese and ignited by a passion for him and for life that transforms her.

Without giving away the plot, this story was f
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Griffin
Apr 28, 2014 Amy Griffin rated it it was ok
This is one of those books you find on a shelf at your B&B on vacation and you blaze through it in two days and then two days later you can't remember the name of it. I'm not sure what it was about the book that kept me reading it, maybe it was the hope it would go somewhere or that the rich descriptions of how to make sicilian food would somehow extend to other parts of the narrative. It didn't. You could pick worse chick-lit for an afternoon in a coffee shop on the beach.
Suzie Bruce
May 13, 2014 Suzie Bruce rated it liked it
This was a delicious book about food and sex. Very literally, just about food and sex. It was a salacious read. Eat something decadent with this book to get you in the mood. The author treats food and sexual encounters with the same luxury and attention to detail. As a side note, it was a great book for women with curves or age. The author made Rosa feel and seem very sexy in her own body, which was both curvy and middle aged.

I loved it for a quick naughty read.
Jenny Macdonald
Jul 26, 2014 Jenny Macdonald rated it really liked it
A beautiful book. Steeped in the sun of Sicily, filled with food and sex with sensual descriptions of both!The tale follows the life and loves of Rosa Fiore whose gifts with food are legendary in her Sicilian village. After a tragedy occurs in her home village, Rosa sets off to Palermo and becomes a librarian where, 25 years later, she meets L'Inglese and ignited by a passion for him and for life that transforms her. This was a delicious book about food and sex. If you love both you'll love this ...more
Ann Rieth
Apr 19, 2015 Ann Rieth rated it it was ok
I read this book for my book club, and I don't regret reading it, but my incentive to finish reading the book was that I was hoping for some redeeming message! Mostly, I couldn't decide if the author was writing a spoof, with her tongue in cheek, or if she was serious. However, I did like reading about the Italian foods and their preparation. The characters and their behavior were just outrageous, though.
Feb 04, 2015 Poli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Strong main character, a dysfunctional family and a mysterious man.
Great ingredients to make a good story.
Rosa grows and later blooms on this pages, all through the power of love and the discover of her sensuality.
Through it she will not only find what it means to love a man, she also finds a way to love her family better and ultimately to love herself.
All this with her passion for food on the background.
Sep 25, 2014 Ieva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grāmatas apraksts uz vāka diemžēl solīja ko krietni vairāk, kā tās saturs reāli deva. Nu nav tas nekāds Markess, nekāda Kārere vai Atvuda, kā cerēju.
Pat nesapratu, kur ierindot šādu romānu – no vienas puses tas ir pārāk vienkāršs un parasts, lai būtu maģiskais reālisms. No otras puses – pārāk simbolisma pilns, lai būtu vienkārši lubene. Mango darbi gan patīk abu kategoriju darbi, taču šāds „pa vidu” tomēr ne visais.
Levina  C.
Feb 13, 2012 Levina C. rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
The beginning was a lot move eventful and well thought-out than the rest of the book, which was mostly tales of Rosa, the heroine, and her foreign lover's sexual adventures. The novel is sprinkled with descriptions of lavish Sicilian recipes, which Rosa gives names to in her language and then doesn't explain in English. She had a sad life: After losing her father and her first love when she was young, she falls into a depression and starts arguing with her mother. She leaves home to live twenty- ...more
Sunshine Jones
Sep 05, 2015 Sunshine Jones rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It contained several hilarious moments, as well as moments that pulled on my heart strings. It contained quite a bit of sexual content, but the combination of the joys of cooking and the "pleasures of the flesh" worked surprisingly well. It very much reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate.
Feb 11, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing
A fascinating tale about Rosa, a woman from a small town with a large family of brothers. Rosa's tale takes a turn when her beloved, Bartolomeo, is found dead. She then flees to a neighbouring city, and begins her life anew as a librarian. It is there that she meets 'L'Inglese', who turns her life around in more ways than one. I really enjoyed how specific Lily was when she wrote about Rosa's feelings. It began as a simple story, with Rosa being a young girl in love. She was quite innocent in th ...more
Patrice Sartor
This felt like an Italian Like Water for Chocolate, which I also gave four stars. A woman deals with a demanding and domineering mother (and a slew of brothers). Lots of food and cooking is involved, and the passion that stems from the culinary activities extends into sexual activities, and vice-versa. I especially liked that the main character became a librarian, though portraying her as the stereotypical dowdy sort of library worker did not please me, heh.

It's a light and easy read with a dose
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