30 September 2016

Cooking for Picasso - A Book Review & Giveaway #amreading





Recently I finished a charming book called, Cooking for Picasso and I can't wait to tell you about it! I happened to pick up this next book following the heels of a vivid thriller. So the transition for me to this book, which reads at a totally different pace, made my initial experience of the first couple of chapters a bit rough. But you know what? I was very nicely surprised about how this book turned out.

First, here's what the book is about -

A novel inspired by a true incident: In the spring of 1936, Pablo Picasso, unable to paint because of his turbulent love life, secretly left Paris and rented a villa on the French Riviera. No one is certain what happened to him, but suddenly, Picasso picked up his brush and created a series of remarkable paintings, including two pictures of an unidentified young woman. From this intriguing episode, author Camille Aubray creates a fictional story about Ondine, a young chef working in a local café, whose life is transformed by the artist's visit to her seaside village of Juan-les-Pins. Running parallel to the tale of Picasso and Ondine is the contemporary story of Ondine's American grand-daughter, Céline, who ventures to the South of France on a quest to uncover family secrets about what really happened when her grandmother crossed paths with Pablo Picasso. 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. Like Hemingway in The Paris Wife, Picasso is one of a handful of early 20th century figures who still has real star-power. COOKING FOR PICASSO explores the great artist and his work in a human, intelligent and highly engaging new light.


I finished reading it over one of the last hot weekends of this summer/fall season. First you meet Camille, who shows up (in the present) on this elaborate boat for a very elusive reason that you will later figure out. You jump right into the 1930s where you now are introduced to Ondine who works at the restaurant owned by her parents. She's instructed to deliver meals to a patron who lives nearby. And then she realizes who the patron is - the famous, Picasso. But how does the modern tale of Camille enter into it? Well, there is a portrait of Camille's grandmother Ondine, painted by Picasso, which she's not even sure exists. And so the journey begins to find out if the portrait exists, and if it does, what happened to it?

Like I said, it took me a little bit to get involved in the story, the first couple of chapters were just a bit slow for me, but once I delved into the heart of the story, I loved it. The mix between the two generations - the 1930s and the present - went seamlessly for me. I loved the contrasting world and the battle to discover a painting that may or may not even exist. The portrayal of Picasso is interesting and although I really don't know too much about the painter's life, this really provides intriguing insight into who he was as a person. 

I think if you love historical fiction, this is the perfect book for you. It's a mix of mystery and romance. It's a light-hearted read with a lot to give and I was so happy to have read this. This will be a book I plan on re-reading, actually.

I am so happy to announce that I get to giveaway a copy of this book to one lucky reader! Enter a comment letting me know if this books interests you and what you like about it. Ends 10/15. US Only.

If you can't wait to read this, make sure you visit Amazon and purchase your copy today!

**UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for entering! The winner is Teresa Young. Thanks for entering everybody!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links are included in the above posts for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link. 
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32 comments:

  1. I enjoy historical fiction. Reading about Picasso would be very interesting.

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  2. I am very much interested in reading Cooking for Picasso. It sounds like fun to have a story to tell about this time in Picasso's life.

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  3. This book looks like an entertaining read. It would be interesting to see how his relationships developed and especially through his different artistic/creative periods as well.

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  4. Sounds really interesting!

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  5. This book looks very interesting especially with the plot line and characters presented in your review! I hope the author considers writing a similar book about J.D. Salinger and his life.

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  6. I would love to read this book I started cooking a few years ago now I consider it as a hobby I enjoy doing I enjoy anything food related lol

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  7. As an artist myself, I would love to read this book. It sounds really interesting, especially in the context of historical fiction!

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  8. I enjoy historical novels and this one sounds interesting.
    Flyergal82 at (yahoo #dot $com

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  9. I love historical fiction and would be interested in reading this book.

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  10. I have always loved historical fiction and like trying new authors!!

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  11. The plot sounds really good to me :)

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  12. This sounds like an interesting read.
    mnleona@aol.com

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  13. I like books that take a historical figure & weave some story through their life to make them seem more real. Cooking for Picasso sounds both quaint & fascinating.

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  14. I love all historical book sand this sounds interesting!

    sweeps@jessicaandgracie.com

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  15. This book looks like an ideal literary escape. Picasso? France? I want to be there!

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  16. I am excited to read this because it sounds fantastic. i like to imagine i am in a foreign country.

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  17. sounds like an interesting one - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  18. Yes, I am interested. I have always wanted to know more about this.

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  19. This book sound like a good read. I would like to have it.

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  20. I love books which are historical fiction. I also love that this book has a mixture of romance and mystery.
    Laurie Emerson

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  21. This sounds interesting and I love history

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  22. I am fascinated by historical novels. It sounds like a captivating read. I would love to submerge myself in the experience. skater425irish1913@gmail.com

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  23. I helped my son with a project on Picasso. I learned a lot Thank you

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. I love historical fiction and this books sounds like it would be so fun to read. I love new stories and I love actual books. I have a Kindle & I love it but there is nothing like a real, hard back book in your hands!!

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  25. I love the idea behind this book. (I wonder about Picasso's excuse for not being able to paint then, though. If he were unable to paint due to his turbulent love life, he would have never painted, lol.)

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  26. I would most definitely enjoy this book.

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  27. I love this. I love that it is inspired by a true event. Sounds like a lovely book.

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  28. You could be eligible to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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