Audiobook review: Cooking for Picasso


Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray
Genre: contemporary, history, audiobook
Publisher: Random House (AUDIOBOOK)
Date: August 9, 2016

Pablo Picasso. The name conjures up images galore. Even those with virtually no knowledge of art know that he was a genius. He changed everything people ever imagined about art. We know the art, but how much do we know about the man?

In 1936 Pablo Picasso was already a well-established master of his craft and well set in his ways. In his 50’s, he knew how good he was. He knew his reputation and what his paintings were worth, so his ego was already pretty well-established too.

Seventeen year old Ondine is the exact opposite. Living with her parents, working in the family owned café, she is very much still trying to figure out who she is. When Picasso settles into the small town of Juan-les-Pins to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities (and the hotly tense political build up of WWII) he contracts with the café to have them cater his meals on a daily basis. Ondine’s family, busy with the running of the business, decide that she should be the one to go and cook for the Master every day.

In present day New York, Celine is a Hollywood makeup artist that has had anything but a stable or comfortable family life. Though she’s always known that cooking was a part of her family’s history, she had no idea that her grandmother used to cook for Picasso. When tragedy strikes the family and threatens disaster for Celine and her mother, it’s up to Celine to track down a family mystery on her mother’s behalf. She is off to Europe to see if it’s possible that her family has an unknown Picasso masterpiece.

Bouncing back and forth between 1936 and the modern day, Ondine and Celine’s stories intertwine and are wrapped together with fantastic storytelling and beautiful charm. Camille Aubray has created a cast of quirky characters that are fun, engaging, and easy to follow. The story is solid and even if you have parts of it figured out, there are some twists that make it fun and keep you entertained.

Note: This was the audiobook release of this book and I was extremely pleased with the quality! The narrator kept it moving along at a nice pace and the characters were easily distinguishable. I really enjoyed listening to both Celine and Ondine’s adventures.

I always think a historical book is fabulous when it makes you want to learn more. I spent a great deal of time learning about Picasso while I was listening to this book. You can’t ask for more than being entertained AND educated at the same time!

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