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Extended Audio Sample The Lost Recipe for Happiness Audiobook, by Barbara O’Neal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,403 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara O’Neal Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781415954485
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It’s the opportunity Elena Alvarez has been waiting for–the challenge of running her own kitchen in a world-class restaurant. Haunted by an accident of which she was the lone survivor, Elena knows better than anyone how to survive the odds. With her faithful dog, Alvin, and her grandmother’s recipes, Elena arrives in Colorado to find a restaurant in as desperate need of a fresh start as she is, and a man whose passionate approach to food and life rivals her own. Owner Julian Liswood is a name many people know but a man few do. He’s come to Aspen with a troubled teenage daughter and a dream of the kind of stability and love only a family can provide. But for Elena, old ghosts don’t die quietly, yet a chance to find happiness at last is worth the risk.

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Quotes & Awards

  • As dark and deep and sweet as chocolate...I wanted to live in this book. Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author
  • A delectable banquet for the reader, celebrating the things that matter most–family, friendship, food, and the healing power of love. Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Perrin | 2/14/2014

    " A great vacation book. I love this authors descriptions of food, cooking, the settingsetc "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 autum | 2/13/2014

    " fun read picked up a book of hers for hawaii trip then read this one too, surprise she lives in cs! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie | 2/13/2014

    " This isn't "Sex in the City" chic lit--this one actually has some seriousness and some heft. Elena, the lone survivor of a horrific car wreck that killed a number of her family and her boyfriend, is a chef now, living with her damaged body and her more damaged soul in the tough, male dominated world of high end cuisine. She's offered her first executive chef position with the challenge of renovating and recreating a restaurant in Aspen. I absolutely FELL into this book. I identified with the kitchen challenges, Elena's loneliness, the fact that it was set in Colorado for the most part, and drooled over the many wonderful culinary creations in the book (recipes delightfully included). It's a love story (two, actually--there's a fun "side" story about a gay couple forming from what seems like polar opposites in the kitchen), but for many of the characters it's more about healing and taking chances. There's even some politics about immigration and "guest workers" in this country. And several ghosts. It's hard to pigeon hole this book, but not hard to enjoy it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/11/2014

    " This book had a lot more depth than I thought it would when I began reading it. A great story of love and loss woven throughout a story about great food. Very enjoyable! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 2/9/2014

    " This book had me interested from beginning to end, the story had much more depth to it than I expected. A very enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JenC. | 2/8/2014

    " Suprisingly enjoyable read, my only beef being why doesn't the dog on the cover look anything like the dog described in the book? Vibrant and real characters, excellent food descriptions, the paranormal element was just right. I wouldn't really describe this as 'chick-lit', more a contemporary adult novel with romantic themes. I've read other books with recipes in them, but this is the first one that I actually want to make the food from the book. The recipes and notes between chapters were a nice addition rather than annoying filler. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mari | 2/3/2014

    " A sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy break from heavier reading. Thoroughly enjoyable, although everything ties up just a little too neatly for my tastes in the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Georgette | 1/23/2014

    " This was the first book I read by this author and it was both charming and delightful. Like the author, O'Neal was a professional chef. The protagonist in this book has her share of challenges. A daughter of mixed heritage (American/Mexican) she is constantly searching and has the frustrating habit of being a heat seeking missile for the wrong men,mostly chefs/restaurateurs that she has worked with both domestically and abroad. The good news is that she learned much professionally from each relationship,but when they all personally went south, she moved on. There is much fabric woven throughout the book,mysticism from her Latin Heritage and how she grows both professionally and personally.Lets leave it at that, so that if you decide to read this book you will enjoy the journey. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Carter | 1/15/2014

    " Made me hungry plus the family relationships were all well drawn and compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb | 12/5/2013

    " A great book, with recipes included. It makes one want to cook more often! Will read more of this authors books - hope she writes more! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alleyne | 11/27/2013

    " Love this -- barely slept. Cried and smiled. Spoke to me in a way that was deep and satisfying. Bliss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 11/26/2013

    " I really loved this. It was a story of love, growth, heartbreak, and most of all, immense strength of character. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristen Sullivan | 11/8/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book, but I found just about everything so slow and boring and I just could not get into it. I finally gave up halfway through. It just did not hold my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget | 6/19/2013

    " This book was such an enjoyable read. It had trials and tribulations, suspense, romance, ghosts (not horror story types), and some really great sounding recipes. I enjoyed every moment of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 5/18/2013

    " Wished the book was longer...felt it had so much more to say. Loved it!! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susabelle | 5/14/2013

    " Awful. At least 200 pages too long. Story too slow. Overuse of the idea of a "soulmate" just in the first 100 pages. Too much hinting around at dark pasts without really just telling us what is going on. Won't read another of her books, I'm afraid. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 5/12/2013

    " A steamy chick-lit sort of book but with a little more substance than some of the genre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liesbeth | 10/28/2012

    " It was a fun book to read, more like a beach read I thought. Liked the recipes if only I'd make them! Nice story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 helgi | 9/13/2012

    " Enjoyable while I read but thinking of it now, it wasn't my kind of book...ya know? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mercedes | 6/30/2012

    " I cannot remember the last book that brought me to tears. Great story. Realize that the concept of love helping heal wounds, both physical and mental, is very appealing to me and know that this is why the book struck such a chord. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 5/3/2012

    " This book jumped around too much for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennefer | 2/16/2012

    " I liked the storyline of this book and the character dynamics. I can't recommend it though. It had bad language and inappropriate scenes that made me only give it three stars. It could have gotten a higher rating from me if those things had been left out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 2/5/2012

    " Delicious novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 12/28/2011

    " This book was so beautiful I do not feel like anything I could write would do it justice. I laughed out loud, cried with the characters and didn't want it to end. Easily one of the top 5 books I have ever read! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 10/15/2011

    " I liked the idea of this book far more than the book itself. Too many sex scenes...I wouldn't recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 6/26/2011

    " While I enjoyed the cultural references and the recipes, I felt like the author (O'Neal)took her time through the entire novel to then rush through the end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 6/15/2011

    " Loved this book and can't wait to read more of hers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/9/2011

    " I was shocked at how much I loved this novel. It was one I grabbed on a whim at a closing sale at a library and I'm so glad I did. I liked it so much I passed it around to my mother and then my grandmother and most of friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 5/29/2011

    " Not my normal 4. Slightly occult, romance and food. Well done. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 5/22/2011

    " Parts of this story was just silly and unbelievable. No real character development and very few likable characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 5/19/2011

    " Compelling characters that made you root for their success and happiness. A fairly indulgent read with quite a bit of sex. Pretty enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/28/2011

    " combined two of my favorite things in the world so well. food and words. just delectable. great atmosphere and recipes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 4/25/2011

    " This book was so beautiful I do not feel like anything I could write would do it justice. I laughed out loud, cried with the characters and didn't want it to end. Easily one of the top 5 books I have ever read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 4/25/2011

    " fun to read... feisty lead which I like... of course, an easy read... not so into the south western dishes.. however, love to rad about their creation and about someone loving their profession "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rita | 4/18/2011

    " What drew me to the book was the concept of food/cooking and people. It was okay. I think the story could have been better "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 4/8/2011

    " The main character, Elena, is a classic survivor of a tragic car accident living a life with survivor's guilt and many lingering aches and pains. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 3/28/2011

    " I liked this book, just not as much as the others I have read by Barbara O'Neal. Still enjoyed it, but seemed a bit disjointed. "

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About the Author

Barbara O’Neal is the pen name for Barbara Samuel. She is an award-winning author of numerous novels and lives in Colorado Springs.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.