L’eau trouble est le gain du pêcheur sage. She told me it meant, “In troubled waters the wise fisherman benefits.” I always assumed she was reassuring me that if you persevere in difficult times you get rewarded for your efforts. ~ prologue excerpt
Cooking For Picasso, by C. A. Belmond, tells the story of Celine, who seeks answers from the past by going to the town where her grandmother Ondine worked for Pablo Picasso.
It is fun to visit well-known people in a fiction story. Historical fiction provides a way of learning more about ourselves as we learn about the past. This dual time period story switches between Celine’s quest in present day, to her grandmother Ondine’s life back in 1936 France.
“I am thinking of my shy, secretive mother who expectedly set my feet on this improbably path as if she’d passed a baton to me, just as her own mother had wanted to do with her.” ~ prologue excerpt
The characters are nicely developed, and the descriptions are rich, but the pacing was a bit slow for me. At times I was distracted by the switch of time periods, and some of the food narratives were a bit much, therefore the 3-star rating. If you are a fan of the French Riviera, or interested in the artist Pablo Picasso, you will probably enjoy this more than I did.
Publisher: Random House Audio
Print Pages: 402 (Ballantine Books)
Audio CD: 13.5 hours
Audio Narrator: Mozhan Marno
First line (Chapter One): A salty southwestern wind came rushing across the Mediterranean Sea with heraldic ceremony, driving a white-capped tide against the rocks and jostling the fishing boats in the harbor of Juan-les-Pins before sweeping into the backyard of the Café-Paradis, where Ondine was busy peeling her vegetables.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher via BloggingForBooks.