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

Frances Osborne
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 Feb 2006

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.

Frequently Bought Together

Lilla's Feast: A True Story Of Love, War, And A Passion For Food + The Bolter: Idina Sackville - The woman who scandalised 1920s Society and became White Mischief's infamous seductress + The Temptress: The Scandalous Life of Alice, Countess De Janze
Price For All Three: 19.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed edition (16 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552771880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552771887
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frances Osborne ( is the author of two biographies, Lilla's Feast, and The Bolter, which was an international bestseller and is now being developed into a mini-series. Her new book, a novel, Park Lane, is set in the same, Edwardian, period and is published in the UK and US in June 2012.

Product Description


"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 Montefiore)

"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" (Amanda Foreman)

"Osborne tells the story of her great-granny's life with page-turning brio" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A wonderfully evocative, vivid, distilled book" (Tatler)

"Powerfully imagined... Aromas of the spicy dishes Lilla learned to cook during her years in the Far East seem to cling to these pages, infusing the narrative with exoticism" (The Times)

Book Description

Sensual family memoir of a modern woman in the last 100 years, spanning three continents and three husbands.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lilla's feast 13 Jan 2005
this book is a wonderfully personal insight into the life of an ordinary lady over the past century. she, like all of us just living life, can experience so much by opening our eyes to the most simple things around us. Basic things we do to live can provide such joy if we chose it to - just as Lilla did. the joy of food and its creations took her through the most painful things that any human might be expected to live through. the author is the grandaughter of lilla and there are pictures of Lilla at all stages in her life in China, India and the UK at her 100th birthday. this book shows the integrity of her generation that i hope will prevail. such a beautiful book - history as it should be delivered - in a personal and honest way. this book has been an inpsiration to me - opened my eyes to the lives of the 'ordinary' people around me. thanks to the author for writing it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lilla's Feast 18 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very readable book with a lot of varying interests. My only critism is that the writer makes a lot of assumtions about the characters feelings and thoughts based on limited childhood memories of one of the characters. The somewhat tenuous linking themes are food & recipes, but if you are looking for any, forget it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true feast for the reader 20 April 2009
An epic tale, all the more enjoyable because it is a true one!

You will also learn a great deal about the history of China and the India from one who experienced it.

Everyone will love this
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars veritable feast 30 Sep 2009
What a fascinating read all the way through. How interesting the lives that were led in those times. Could not put this down, Recommended to friends who loved it as much as I did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a satisfying feast 3 May 2006
By marin
Format:Audio CD
Eve Best succeeds in captivating the listener with this story that evokes a fascinating glimpse into Lilla's life, set amidst bygone culture and world events. It also provokes reflection on the morality of and the spin given to past and current political action.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 17 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A mixture of fact and imagination, Osbourne re creates the life of her great grandmother with consummate skill. A fascinating read
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4.0 out of 5 stars history 12 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this book its an almost true story very interesting the way life was years ago
interesting character bye bye
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chinese childhood 29 April 2013
By eleanor
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having been brought up in China myself, I found this a gripping read. The detail of a foreign family in China is absorbing
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommend this book
highly recommend this book; its an imperial history lesson that reads like a novel. I was involved and engrossed from start to finish. My mother-in-law is already re-reading it
Published 1 month ago by browneyedgirl
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I enjoyed this book. She has a good ability to turn the facts into a readable story, similar to a novel but not the same. Read more
Published 1 month ago by caroline smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but a tad too sentimental
This is an intruiging story of a lady who lived to be a centenarian and whose life was a rollercoaster between good and bad fortune, different continents and how she adapted to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Helen
3.0 out of 5 stars more of a history book
I had wanted to read this book since I read a review in a magazine about 2 years ago. The impression I had was that there would be more details of the receipes that Lilla had made,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jane E. Marsden
4.0 out of 5 stars Lilla's Feat book review
The book was delivered before estimated delivery date. In good condition as described. It is such an interesting book very well written by Frances Osborne. Read more
Published 18 months ago by JOLO
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Engrossing and moving story about the author's great grandmother's birth and upbringing in China in the late 19th/20th centuries, her marriage and subsequent life spanning China,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dr Janet Skublics
4.0 out of 5 stars A life full of incident.
This was a very personal history of an ordinary women who led a remarkable life. The periods of her life spent in China were especially well written and gave a real feel of the... Read more
Published 24 months ago by KAW
3.0 out of 5 stars Lilla's Feast
I bought this as a Christmas present for my Mum. She informed me yesterday that she is really enjoying it and will have to read the book twice to make sure she does not miss... Read more
Published on 4 Jan 2010 by Bill Fraser
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