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Lilla's Feast: A True Story Of Love, War, And A Passion For Food [Kindle Edition]

Frances Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Lilla Eckford, interned in a Japanese civilian camp in China during the second world war after an extraordinary early life,passed her time by compiling a book about the joys of food.Thisprecious cookery book, now in the possession of the ImperialWarMuseum, inspired Lilla's great-granddaughter, Frances Osborne, to investigate her enthralling story.

Lilla's Feast spans the world from China to India and finally to England over a hundred years, and blends together personal history, world events, period atmosphere and family anecdotes into a brilliantly vibrant and poignant story.

Editorial Reviews


“I loved LILLA'S FEAST - absolutely absorbing, both for its historical content and its personal details. I felt for Lilla, every step of the way ... a real feeling for place fills this book ... lovely.” -Margaret Forster, author of Lady’s Maid, Daphne Du Maurier, and Georgie Girl

“LILLA'S FEAST is a wonderful, inspiring book. Part page-turner, part history of the British Empire in the Far East, Frances Osborne perfectly captures the stories of a lost generation of women. It is impossible to read this book without admiring the brave adventurers who risked everything, were tested almost beyond endurance, and yet remained proud and strong to the end.” -Amanda Foreman, author of GEORGIANA

“Passionately written and compelling, Frances Osborne's impressive debut is a wonderful read. The extraordinary life of this ordinary woman is a tumultuous feast of the senses.” -Santa Monefiore

“LILLA'S FEAST is a captivating narrative of one resilient woman’s one-hundred-year journey through the cultural changes and political turmoil of the late nineteenth and most of the twentieth centuries. Her collection of exotic recipes were her souvenirs from the many outposts of the British Empire that she called home and became her connection to reality when her freedom was taken away.”
–JOANNE LAMB HAYES, author of Grandma’s Wartime Kitchen
and Grandma’s Wartime Baking Book

From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

While interned in a prison camp in China, the author's great-grandmother, Lilla, took to dreaming up recipes that she jotted in a cookbook. This sensual family memoir, spanning five continents and three husbands, is a combination of world history, romance and food.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1833 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; New Ed edition (April 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a British Woman in the Orient July 9, 2007
Lilla's Feast" describes a time not so very long ago that seems impossibly distant. The world-wide expansion of European colonialism in the 19th century caused thousands of people, especially British, to seek their fortunes in the colonies and the trading emporiums in the exotic East, especially India and China. Lilla, the great-grandmother of the author was one of them. She was born in Chefoo, China in 1882 and spent most of her life in China or India.

Lilla never did anything of great importance, but she stands for all the Brits born and raised abroad who felt a bit foreign when they returned "home" to England on visits. During the course of her 100-year life Lilla was present during the peak of Western power and prestige in the Orient before 1900 and its rapid decline thereafter culminating in World War II in which Lilla and her family ended up in a Japanese concentration camp.

We follow Lilla through marriages, births,deaths, family troubles in India and China, the hardships of Weihsien internee camp in China during World War II, and finally back to an uneasy old age in England -- the money, power, and prestige of life as a privileged Westener in China now gone. It's a good story to be read about a class of people who saw their pleasant lives and lucrative livelihoods destroyed by war and politics. We don't feel all that sorry for Lilla, nor even that fond of her, but we are interested in her experiences. Along the way we get some fascinating pictures of the life of Brits in China -- and especially the hardships of Weihsien, a concentration camp that has catalyzed a sizeable body of literature. See "The Call" by John Hersey, a novel about a missionary who is interned in Weihsien and "Shantung Compound" by Lawrence Gilkey, a sociological classic about people under the stress of imprisonment.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lila January 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I full detailed work for it era. One truly strong woman's struggle with her life, from it's high's and lows.
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