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La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,271 ratings  ·  142 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
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Paperback, 263 pages
Published September 18th 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published 2000)
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Chocolat by Joanne HarrisThe School of Essential Ingredients by Erica BauermeisterLike Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelMy Life in France by Julia ChildJulie and Julia by Julie Powell
Nouvelle Cuisine
22nd out of 309 books — 172 voters
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Foodie Novels
17th out of 97 books — 110 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,919)
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J.
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
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Rosie
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
Albert
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
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Sve
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.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This book was nominated for my international book club for the next year, but not selected. I got a copy anyway, because the person who put it forward made it sound better than it is.

What is it? Basically a cheesy barely-strung-together erotic novel that was more embarrassing than anything else. Also I would not be eating off of that table!!

It did entertain me for the last part of a late-night plane ride, but I kept checking to make sure my seat mate wasn't reading over my shoulder. Just not my
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Tanya
L’histoire
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
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Dale
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
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Jane
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
Danielle
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.
Julie
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.
MaryAnn
Really enjoyed this book. Makes you want to cook, eat and have lots of sex!
Jo Anne
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
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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
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Megan
"...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
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Debbie
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
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Ape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Griffin
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
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
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
Ieva
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.
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
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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Michelle
Guilty pleasure read- because I am a total foodie and this book is centered around food and the woman who loves to cook excellent rustic Italian food. Cute story. And it's a decent summer read because you don't have to think too much.
Marsha
Drenched in the sensuality that accompanies a true passion for food, we meet the protagonist Rosa Fiore. Lonely, desperate for love without knowing it, Lily sublimates her sensual nature into a love for food. Her food preparations are elaborate and the descriptions of them just heavenly. But romance truly blossoms when L’Inglese enters the picture. The reader is inundated with truly smoldering entries of Rosa’s romance with this mysterious man who clearly revels in food and good eating as much a ...more
Heather Collins
This is a really lovely novel, it's very descriptive and captivating. You are led through Rosa's life, her joys and sorrows... along with fun recipes. Definitely a good read.
Roberto
After reading Lily Prior´s novel " Nectar" years ago, I do not profess myself as her fan as I didn´t like it at all. But I came across "La Cucina" in a charity sale and decided to buy it and give it a try , at least for charity´s sake. Well, as I was already aware what to expect from Ms. Prior and perhaps that´s the reason I found this novel (her debut) much better than " Nectar". Nonetheless, don´t think this is Laura Esquivel or Joanne Harris . Unfortunately, though Ms.Prior tries , it lacks f ...more
Nispuk
Wer sagt denn, dass eine Bibliothekarin nicht sinnlich sein kann? Rosa Fiore bringt ihre Leidenschaft zum Kochen.
Sterlingcindysu
(copied review) When 18-year-old Rosa's first love comes to a terrible end, she takes to cooking to ease her grief, but eventually leaves her rural Sicilian town for the city of Palermo. Twenty-five years later she has become a librarian, and still lives to cook. But the overweight, overlooked Rosa doesn't truly come back to life until she meets a man who comes to her library for research, but who falls in love with Rosa and her flair for cooking. All goes well (better than well, in fact, for sh ...more
Ladiibbug
Rosa's cooking has been legendary since she was a teenager living on her family's farm in Italy.

Her infatuation with food is rivaled only by her love for a young man, who unfortunately belongs to another. After their love affair ends in tragedy, Rosa leaves the farm to work as a librarian in Palermo.

This book is similar in style to "Like Water for Chocolate" - magical realism, stories told against a background of delicious food.

Very entertaining, a quick book to read with lots of surprises.

Lily
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Sherry
Jul 10, 2008 Sherry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women
This book was thoroughly enjoyable. If you like novels set in European settings in the not-too-distant past, you'll love this. It's very reminiscent of Chocolat or Under the Tuscan Sun (although the latter is more of a memoir).

These types of settings and stories are appealing to me because they're an easy way to "vacation" without leaving your own home. The imagery and characters are strongly written, and food plays a prominent role in the main character's life (YUM).

I read this book in one sitt
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