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Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: Cooking For Picasso By Camille Aubray

This is a book review of Cooking For Picasso by Camille Aubray that was published by Harper Collins Australia on 1 September 2016.

Camille Aubray is an Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship winner and a writer in residence at Karolyi Foundation in the South of France and studied writing at the Humber College School of Creative Writing Workshop in Toronto. Camille divides her time between Connecticut and the South of France. This is her first novel.

This is a story told in parallel chapters in different time zones across a family generation - from the grandmother as a young woman and then the granddaughter learning about her family's history.

Set in 1936 a 17 year old Ondine who helps in the kitchen in her family cafe in France is to bring meals to the famous artist Picasso every day. I both loved and loathed Picasso but found his art very interesting and even learning of his womanizing ways was quite intriguing. Ondine was such a strong woman for her time and lived an interesting life and I loved her part of the story.

Set in the 21th century young Celine who is Ondine's granddaughter and lives in New York tells the other part of the story. When Celine's mother becomes ill she travels back to France to learn the history of their family particularly about her grandmother. Add to this an entertaining cooking school with a famous chef and Celine on a soul searching mission and you have yourself a very interesting modern day story.

The chapters flowed seamlessly together and were told by such strong and likable female characters, the writing was just brilliant and it kept me engaged and interested until the very end. I admit I was drawn to this book initially because of the element of food and it really delivered on that -  from traditional French cooking to a modern day cooking school - this really added a point of difference to the story and will appeal to food lovers.

Being that the story is set in France this is a perfect holiday read and on my recent Indonesian holiday it was my faithful poolside companion!

I recommend this book to anyone who likes art, food and the romance of France - you will love this book.

I give this book 5 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd give up a bottle of the worlds best champagne for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

Cooking For Picasso can be purchased from the author here or Harper Collins Australia

Sharing my book review on Good Reads here and Netgalley

Disclosure:  NetGalley partner with bloggers such as me to help promote authors and their books and I was given this ebook published by Harper Collins Australia to review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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[1st image via Harper Collins Australia and 2nd image my own]

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  1. Hmm, what an interesting topic for a book in that she served meals to Picasso! Hmm! I am going to look more into this one! :) Love your review!


    1. This was a really fun read I think you'd enjoy it!


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