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Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes. A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.


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Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes. A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

30 review for Like Water for Chocolate

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    195. Como Agua Para Chocolate = Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel Like Water for Chocolate is a popular novel, published in 1989 by Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel. The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita, who longs for her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother's upholding of the family tradition: the youngest daughter cannot marry, but instead must take care of her mother until she dies. Tita is only able to express herself when she coo 195. Como Agua Para Chocolate = Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel Like Water for Chocolate is a popular novel, published in 1989 by Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel. The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita, who longs for her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother's upholding of the family tradition: the youngest daughter cannot marry, but instead must take care of her mother until she dies. Tita is only able to express herself when she cooks. مثل آب برای شکلات - لورا اسکوئیل (روشنگران) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهاردهم ماه ژوئن سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: مثل آب برای شکلات؛ نویسنده: لورا اسکوئیل؛ مترجم مریم بیات؛ تهران، روشنگران، 1376؛ در 235ص؛ شابک ایکس - 964551276؛ چاپ سوم 1380؛ چاپ هفتم 1386؛ شابک 9789645512765؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان مکزیکی به زبان اسپانیایی - سده 20م کتاب تا به پایان آمد، داغ داغ دوباره خواندم، آشپزیم بهتر شد، اگر از احوالات داستان خواسته باشید، ملالی که ندارد هیچ، بسیار هم همچون «شیرین» ما شیرین است، انگار کنید قند، و همان دوران کودکی؛ خوانش دوم که به سرانجام رسید، انگار کردم، شکلات خوشمزه ای بود، که در دهانم آهسته آب شد، بار دوم دفترچه ام را از یادداشت پر کرده بودم، برای همین بود، که سه باره خواندم؛ داستان زندگی زنان نسلهای گذشته ی «مکزیک» است، که به سبک «رئالیسم جادویی»، و با زبان خانگی، و فُرم زنانه (نوشتار زنانه) نگاشته شده‌ است؛ این رمان، عشقی زیبا را، در کنار مبارزه ی یک زن با سنتهای جامعه ی خود را، نشان می‌دهد؛ هر فصل از کتاب، با دستور آشپزی، یا داروسازی، آغاز شده، و به موضوع آن فصل می‌چسبد؛ کتاب در سال 1989میلادی نوشته شده، و در سال 1992میلادی، فیلمی نیز براساس آن در «مکزیک»، توسط «آلفونسو آروآ»، ساخته شده است؛ به سی زبان ترجمه شده، و میلیونها نسخه از آن چاپ شده‌ است؛ عنوان کتاب نیز معنایی دوگانه دارد نخست اشاره به دستور تهیه ی شکلات داغ (هات چاکلت)، که در «مکزیک» با آب و «کاکائو»، تهیه می‌شود (نه با شیر)؛ دوم، اصطلاحی در زبان اسپانیایی، استعاره ای از احساسات تند، و برانگیختگی است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 10/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily O

    Have you ever finished a book and thought "Man, this is going to be hard to review?" Because that's the first thing I thought when I finished this little book by Laura Esquivel. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies is a book that really left me conflicted. There were things about it that I absolutely loved, and things about it that made me very angry. The only way I can think to write this review is to explain what I found good and b Have you ever finished a book and thought "Man, this is going to be hard to review?" Because that's the first thing I thought when I finished this little book by Laura Esquivel. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies is a book that really left me conflicted. There were things about it that I absolutely loved, and things about it that made me very angry. The only way I can think to write this review is to explain what I found good and bad, and let you all come to your own conclusions. First, let's start with the good things. I loved the way this book was written. Like Water for Chocolate reads like a folktale, and a fun one at that. Some people's reviews that I've read found the magical realism trite or annoying, but I found it really endearing. The book managed to be an easy, quick read without sacrificing quality. Now, I cannot review this book without talking about the recipes. The book is split up into monthly installments, and each month has a recipe that Tita makes that ties the story together. The recipe is given at the beginning of each monthly chapter, and the instructions for preparation are woven into the story. Now, I'm a huge fan of cooking, so I found this idea to be really great. Since so much of the story takes place around and hinges on food, putting the recipes in the book makes perfect sense. I loved the way that the preparation instructions were included in the action of the story. Some people seem to find it gimmicky, but I thought it was a fun little addition to a book already filled with the tastes and smells of good Mexican cooking. Now, for the things that troubled me. First of all, I have to admit that even though I'm a huge lover of all things fairy-tale and myth, I do not like the "love at first sight" narrative. It's not that I'm not a romantic, but I feel that real love is something that is built up from a knowledge of a person's character and personality, not something that magically happens when you see someone from across the room. As for Tita's beloved, Pedro, I honestly didn't like him. He spent the entire book being selfish, immature, and whiny. I have no idea what Tita saw in him. While this book started out with that "love at first sight" narrative, there is a point that it has the chance to go away from that narrative and treat love in a realistic and touching manner. Honestly, that was the ending I was hoping for, so I was pretty well disappointed with how the book actually ended. For me at least, the ending was the worst part of the book. I feel like it kept the book from really having any particular meaning or significance, and instead just avoided any difficulty and wrapped up as quickly and neatly as possible. It just wasn't satisfying. There were also plot elements that I found really disturbing. There are some *spoilers* in the following paragraph. At one point Pedro completely ignores all concepts of consent and just assumes that Tita wants to have sex with him, even though she has denied him repeatedly because he is married to her sister and she is promised to someone else. Does he care about this? No. Is this seen as a problem in the book? No, of course not. As soon as Pedro grabs her and pulls her into a room, Tita magically forgets all of her previous objections, and it's just seen as more proof that they need to be together. Honestly, I find that to be pretty wrong. If somebody who I had repeatedly told to leave me alone just assumed that I didn't really mean it and that I really wanted to have sex with him and decided to pull me into a dark room, I would kick him so hard he would never want to have sex again. It wouldn't matter how much I actually loved him, if he can't respect my decisions he is not worth my time. Combine that incident with the not-very-sympathetic treatment of a rape victim at another point, and you can imagine that I wasn't exactly happy with the way this book treated consent. *End spoilers here* Basically, this book had some incidents that left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and made me wonder exactly what kind of love the author is trying to promote. Overall, the good writing and fun recipes in this book did not outweigh the problematic elements in the narrative. As much as I wanted to, I could not let myself simply enjoy this book, because problems with the plot and the ideas in the book kept jolting me out of the magical world of the narrative. This book was supposed to be a great love story, but I couldn't help feeling that Tita ended up with the wrong man. The ending of the book was completely disappointing, and only served to cement my growing discomfort. For those of you who don't mind the things that I mentioned, this book could be enjoyable. For those of you who want realistic love and respectful healthy relationships, I would suggest that you stay away from Like Water For Chocolate. Rating: not recommended Good things: enjoyable writing, fun format, successful magical realism Bad things: unrealistic love, unhealthy relationships, consent problems, unsatisfying ending For more reviews, visit my blog at http://readingwhilefemale.blogspot.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    karen

    first things first: let's get rid of that ugly movie cover, and switch to the one i actually read.... okay, better. this was my final selection for the readventurer challenge. i read them alphabetically, based on the suggester's first name, for arbitrary fairness. it is strange that i have never read this book, as it is magical realism, doomed love story, and about food, all of which are interests of mine. here is a quick story that has nothing to do with the book, and i am going to put it in a spoi first things first: let's get rid of that ugly movie cover, and switch to the one i actually read.... okay, better. this was my final selection for the readventurer challenge. i read them alphabetically, based on the suggester's first name, for arbitrary fairness. it is strange that i have never read this book, as it is magical realism, doomed love story, and about food, all of which are interests of mine. here is a quick story that has nothing to do with the book, and i am going to put it in a spoiler for everyone who thinks i am too personal in my book reports, but: (view spoiler)[ so this is one of those books i always thought you either read in high school, or you just never read. my AP english class senior year, i had a teacher i loved. i had him for three classes that year, and he was the "cool" teacher with the chuck taylors and the ponytail, the irreverent one who cursed and treated high school kids like sentient beings, went by a nickname, and about whom there were rumors of indiscretions (of the drugs-and-alcohol sort, not the other kind). but he was also a canon-adherer. basically - white european males. all the time. (although we did read little foxes, so there was one lady.) the other AP class was a much more "hey, let's read a range of perspectives" syllabus. and a bunch of people dropped out of his class to go to t'other, and by the end we were down to like nine students, which was great for me, but probably reflected poorly on him. but he was completely unapologetic about it, "if women of brewster place was as good a book as heart of darkness, we would read women of brewster place." and in a way - dick, right? but he was a great teacher, narrow perspective aside, and i learned so much in that class, even though i had to read heart of darkness, which - yes - a great book for structure and themes and resonance, but such a snooze. so anyway, i know the other class read this book, and it is always on the school reading lists i have to fetch books for at the job, but i probably never would have read it without tatiana's suggestion, because i consider it a book that i had missed the boat on, associating it as i do with high school reading lists, and i am old. when i sat down this morning to write this review, i decided to see if i could find out what old roz was up to. http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Be... aaaaaand there it is. god, i love this man. don't let them get you, roz!! drive recklessly into the night!!! okay, that's all (hide spoiler)] so, the book. this thing is assigned to junior and high school students?? man, no wonder the teen pregnancy rates are where they are. this is a very sensual book. there are peeping toms, intercourse on horseback, the pouring of a frustrated libido into food-preparation, and lovemaking that causes actual sparks, and in one case, death. this is not a spoiler, because i'm not giving names, and you probably already read this in your progressively anti-canon high school classes. i am not a fan of romance, unless it is the forbidden, doomed romance of something like wuthering heights. and this one is doomed. tita is destined to remain unmarried and childless, trapped in the family tradition that the youngest daughter is entrusted with the care of her mother until her death. bum deal, especially since she has fallen into passionate, reciprocal love with pedro, who ends up marrying her sister just to remain close to tita. terrible plan, by the way. so her life becomes resentment and frustration, and food. tita is the one who is preserving all the family's traditional recipes, the ones that take all day to make, the ones that are served on special occasions, the ones that require not only ingredients, but are also flavored with the cook's mood. and these moods are wild and powerful, and affect all who eat the food in different ways. this book reads almost like a folk- or fairy-tale. the magical realism is of the emotional variety, with ghosts and the physical manifestations of internal passions, rather than the magic standing in for larger social or political themes, which are present, but only as background detail. the focus here is on character. the book is structured into twelve chapters, each one representing a month, january-december, but the action takes place over a number of years, so the significance of this is unclear to me. however, what is not unclear is that every chapter opens with a recipe, and from the first one, "christmas rolls," esquivel had my attention. sardines, chorizo, onion, oregano, and serrano chiles, tucked into a roll. yeah, this is how you open a book. it s incredibly fast-paced, and the recipes don't feel like they are taking you away from the action, they are enhancing it with a structure that is completely relevant to the action. not crazy about the ending, but i definitely liked the rest of it. it awakened my senses, it made me hungry and happy and sad and all the shades in-between. and quite saucy, actually... she felt so lost and lonely. one last chile in walnut sauce left on the platter after a fancy dinner couldn't feel any worse than she did. how many times had she eaten one of those treats, standing by herself in the kitchen, rather than let it be thrown away. when nobody eats the last chile on the plate, it's usually because none of them wants to look like a glutton, so even though they'd really like to devour it, they don't have the nerve to take it. it was as if they were rejecting that stuffed pepper, which contains every imaginable flavor; sweet as candied citron, juicy as a pomegranate, with the bit of pepper and subtlety of walnuts, that marvelous chile in walnut sauce. within it lies the secret of love, but it will never be penetrated, and all because it wouldn't be proper. i think we all know what is going on here, don't we? so - maybe not as enduring as heart of darkness, but much, much spicier. come to my blog!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book was disappointing. It felt overwrought and melodramatic. Tita, the youngest daughter of overbearing Mama Elena, has to give up the hope of ever marrying. It will be her duty to take care of her mother in old age. This becomes a big problem when she meets Pedro. When Pedro learns of Tita's duty to her mother and impossibility of future marriage, he agrees to marry Tita's sister, just so he can be closer to Tita. This sets in motion this fable of unrequited love that is the thread through This book was disappointing. It felt overwrought and melodramatic. Tita, the youngest daughter of overbearing Mama Elena, has to give up the hope of ever marrying. It will be her duty to take care of her mother in old age. This becomes a big problem when she meets Pedro. When Pedro learns of Tita's duty to her mother and impossibility of future marriage, he agrees to marry Tita's sister, just so he can be closer to Tita. This sets in motion this fable of unrequited love that is the thread through the book. This book, put by some, into the category of magical realism, is not at all subtle or richly textured like others in the genre. Perhaps a better category would be tall-tale or fairy tale. If I had come to the book with that perspective, maybe I would have been able to hold back on all of the exaggerated eye rolling I was doing while reading. Also, I would have been more apt to forgive the book for the delivery of one-dimensional characters. Now, I did give this book 2 stars which means it isn't completely devoid of literary value. The language, though simple and spare was evocative, the recipes and description of food interspersed between chapters was a delightful diversion. I would only recommend this book to readers who have a high tolerance for love stories that tend to the saccharine. If you're a true Cinderella girl, you might enjoy the story without concern for its plausibility. Don't bother if you're more like me--interesting in rich characters.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    I couldn't help but fall for this short novel that encapsulates vividly yet simply the lives of these women in Mexico during the Pancho Villa Years. The family unit is both necessary AND a culminating curse-- it's hardly fair that our heroine must not live out the life she desires but the one that is handed down to her. A stupid family tradition (it is true-- mine's a bit like Tita's clan, sure, though not at all) dictates that the youngest daughter gets to take care of the matriarch and never m I couldn't help but fall for this short novel that encapsulates vividly yet simply the lives of these women in Mexico during the Pancho Villa Years. The family unit is both necessary AND a culminating curse-- it's hardly fair that our heroine must not live out the life she desires but the one that is handed down to her. A stupid family tradition (it is true-- mine's a bit like Tita's clan, sure, though not at all) dictates that the youngest daughter gets to take care of the matriarch and never marry nor fall in love. Tita does, of course, fall in love & her longing, desperation, & hope all are ingredients for the eleven dishes she prepares and shares with the reader. More than the story itself about shitty circumstances imprisoning a beating heart & a stunting of a passion that soon after becomes nothing else but a heavy burden... the mixture of recipe with story... the book is actually revolutionary in taking a vastly different approach about the way we look at the culinary aspect our (especially us Mexicans') lives. Whereas I got a sour flavor disgusting my palate watching such drivel as "Julie and Julia," this book (the movie does it little justice, by the way) masterfully employs a type of rare literary alchemy* by mixing elements as one would mix ingredients to give rise to something as tasty as it is nourishing. *Speaking of alchemy, it must be mentioned that this has a similar voice and tone as that of (Madonna's fave!:) Paulo Coelho ('The Alchemist', 'Veronika Decides to Die')... but, seriously, a WAYYY more imaginative--& therefore more enjoyable--sense of storytelling.

  6. 5 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    What a wonderful, magical story. The tale of women in turn-of-the-century Mexico and how they live their lives. Tita is the main character and what a strong woman she is. This story is told in 12 month chapters though time progresses much faster. Each chapter is started with a recipe. Yes, the kitchen and food is central to this story. You get the details of the recipe and how to make and it's weaved so perfectly into this story. In a nutshell, Tita is the youngest of three girls. They live on t What a wonderful, magical story. The tale of women in turn-of-the-century Mexico and how they live their lives. Tita is the main character and what a strong woman she is. This story is told in 12 month chapters though time progresses much faster. Each chapter is started with a recipe. Yes, the kitchen and food is central to this story. You get the details of the recipe and how to make and it's weaved so perfectly into this story. In a nutshell, Tita is the youngest of three girls. They live on their ranch with their mother, Mama Elena. Let's just say Joan Crawford, ala Mommie Dearest, has *nothing* on Mama Elena. Tita is in love with Pedro, a local boy, but custom dictates that the youngest child, Tita, is not allowed to marry and must care for her mother until the day she dies. Care for really means be a slave to her and her abusive ways. Mama Elena is so cruel that she has Tita's sister marry Pedro and makes Tita cook the meal for their wedding. Tita can infuse her emotions into the food that she is cooking. As she cries and pours her tears of sorrow into the cake for her sister's wedding, something happens. Everyone at the wedding becomes sorrowful and is sick. Naturally she is accused of destroying the wedding. There are other tales of Tita's emotions being put into the food she makes. I especially loved the story of passion in the food that her older sister ate and the passion just exploded in her. Oh there is so much magical realism in this one and I just loved it. I'm a big fan of magical realism and food. So put the two together and it's a wonderful tale. I have been wanting to read this one for so long. I picked up a copy on a library sale and started it earlier this year, but after the first paragraph I knew I had to save it. It started 'Take care to chop the onion fine' and I knew I wanted to save it for my vacation where I could just immerse myself in this story without interruptions. Though that didn't go as actually planned, as too many distractions. I could not help but keep comparing this work to Isabel Allende's work. Both have that magical realism element to it, a sweeping family saga, such heartbreak, and just a beautiful story. I'm so glad I finally read this one as now I can actually watch the movie version.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shriya

    What an easily forgettable novel. The language was exceedingly childish, and the style of the novel massacred the subtlety with which magic realism is to be employed. This was my first taste of the famed Latin American style of writing, and I was sorely disappointed. (Class discussions surrounding this book also bothered me - not only were we forced to read bad literature, we were forced to analyse it for meaningful content.) The characters were not at all developed successfully; no motivations e What an easily forgettable novel. The language was exceedingly childish, and the style of the novel massacred the subtlety with which magic realism is to be employed. This was my first taste of the famed Latin American style of writing, and I was sorely disappointed. (Class discussions surrounding this book also bothered me - not only were we forced to read bad literature, we were forced to analyse it for meaningful content.) The characters were not at all developed successfully; no motivations existed behind some of their actions. The magic realism was not artfully or subtly employed to provide significant insight into the events of the novel. As odd as this may sound, not one of the characters in that book was likeable. One character - and not the main one - had the potential to be developed into a very interesting and powerful figure, but her story was reduced to a side-thread that the author seemingly gave up on. The plot was childish in nature, with strange sexual undertones that were jarring. Picture if you will, the story of Cinderella - but this time with sex involved. You see? The mind is jarred by the image. In that same vein, the novel attempts to reconcile a highly immature plot line with fairly adult themes. My first experience with Latin American novels was thus a failure. I suppose I have to thank school for introducing me to better Latin American novels as time went by - this was their way of saying "ok - you've read the wrost one now, it can ONLY get better from here!"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Ansbro

    Magical realism is my favourite genre, but this didn't have quite enough ooomph for me, though it was a pleasant enough read. There is, however, an alliterative line of such chutzpah that she sells sea shells by the sea shore is made to seem positively prosaic. Here it is, verbatim: "Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying or dominating, Mama Elena was a pro". 3.5, rounded up to 4

  9. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    10 years ago I would have thought so differently about this than I do now. Mama Elena is one of the most monstrous, villainous characters I have ever met. Our main character is Tita, the youngest daughter in her family. The evil family tradition is that the youngest child will not get married or have a life of her own, she will take care of the aging mother. Tita is the youngest and she falls in love with Pedro. They are electric together - passion. Tita also cooks. Each chapter is a recipe for 10 years ago I would have thought so differently about this than I do now. Mama Elena is one of the most monstrous, villainous characters I have ever met. Our main character is Tita, the youngest daughter in her family. The evil family tradition is that the youngest child will not get married or have a life of her own, she will take care of the aging mother. Tita is the youngest and she falls in love with Pedro. They are electric together - passion. Tita also cooks. Each chapter is a recipe for food that is part of the story. Tita is not allowed to marry since she is youngest and so Pedro, being a coward, will marry her older sister to spend time with Tita. Pretty sick logic. Rosario, the older sister, thinks this is ok too. Mama Elena is a monster. She does everything she can to harm her youngest daughter and keep her from a real life. She is blunt and vicious. Any bit of happiness outside of the kitchen Tita has, her mom is trying to stop her. It gets so bad that Tita's nephew dies and she is sad and Mama Elena tells her to get on with her work. Tita confronts her mother and they blow up. Tita is sent to live in the cornloft where she goes crazy. Her mother, who has ruined her life, would rather send her to an asylum than help her. Vicious. Tita her meets a doctor named John who is kind and caring and Tita feels safe and at peace. He is a good, no a great man. Tita is happy and wants to marry. He does not take Tita to the asylum. Tita is going to marry John. Well, Pedro, who was sent away, is back to mess up the wedding plans and confuse Tita. SPOILER!!! I didn't like the ending. Tita, after years of waiting for Pedro ends up with Pedro. It's supposed to be this romantic thing. She was at peace and happy with John. She should have chosen John. That passion she felt was fleeting and he wasn't a man enough to just ask for what he wanted. They waited for the sister to die. Tita waits 22 years for her love instead of building a good life with John and having her own children. Ugh. This story was terrible that way. Mama Elena one of the most evil, monstrous characters I have read. Terrible. Oh, she comes back as a ghost to haunt Tita. She is horrible and would rather see her child suffer than be happy. She is evil. She also has a middle daughter who becomes a whore and the mother burns her birth certificate and declares her dead. She becomes a general and makes something of herself. Rosario wants to raise her only daughter in this tradition also and Tita will have none of it. None. What an evil tradition. I thought this was very well written and great characterizations. The part with the food made me hungry and you could smell it. Laura had wonderful insights into life and her words are well chosen and beautiful. It's the ending. I hated the ending. In my 20s, I probably would have thought this was a great ending, but now, I feel what a waste. I know she loved Pedro, but Pedro chose to marry her sister. He was a coward. She found someone that made her happy and he was willing to over look their affair even. Who knows, if she had bedded John, maybe she would have found a great passion in this man who saved her. Pedro left her in her prison. John freed her and let her be happy for once. A happy ending would have been marrying John. This was a tragic ending and it is a tragic sad story. Very very sad. Tita made a choice. Oh well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    I read Como Agua Para Chocolate in high school. At the time my mother had a rule that if I wanted to see a movie, I had to read the book first, because for the most part, the book is better. She maintains the rule to this day, which I have passed along to my children. Laura Esquivel's debut novel focuses on a Mexican family at the turn of the 20th century. The heroine Tita is the youngest daughter in her family and according to her family tradition is not allowed to marry. Rather she is supposed I read Como Agua Para Chocolate in high school. At the time my mother had a rule that if I wanted to see a movie, I had to read the book first, because for the most part, the book is better. She maintains the rule to this day, which I have passed along to my children. Laura Esquivel's debut novel focuses on a Mexican family at the turn of the 20th century. The heroine Tita is the youngest daughter in her family and according to her family tradition is not allowed to marry. Rather she is supposed to take care of her mother Mama Elena for her entire life. Yet, Tita falls in love with Pedro as a teenager. Knowing she is unable to marry him, she turns to cooking to soothe her emotional pain. The chapters of the book features another of Tita's recipes, each of which dealing with Tita's dominate emotion while she cooks. The family has Pedro marry Tita's older sister Rosaura and in this chapter Tita prepares quails in rose petal sauce. Yet, the secret ingredient in this sauce is Tita's tears, which she sheds marking her loss of Pedro to her sister. Consequently, the entire wedding party falls ill after eating Tita's gourmet cooking. The years pass and Rosaura turns to knitting while Tita prospers in the kitchen. The passage of time is marked by running water and electricity coming to the Mexican village. Tita's moods are constantly evident in her food, and Esquivel's use of magical realism so common in Latin American authors is prevalent. I would read this book for the recipes alone but the story is charming as well. After nearly 20 years both the book and movie remain fresh in my mind, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a Latin American magical realism book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ~Bookishly

    I love how this book just oozes with food and sex. Esquivel does a masterful job of combining the art of good cooking, with the art of raw, passionate sex, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. I bought this rather short read a few years back, and now I've finally read it, it does beg the question, why have I only just got to it now? Well, the answer to that is simple. There are vast amounts of unread books in every nook and cranny in my home, and Like Water for Chocolate, admittedly got forgotten ab I love how this book just oozes with food and sex. Esquivel does a masterful job of combining the art of good cooking, with the art of raw, passionate sex, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. I bought this rather short read a few years back, and now I've finally read it, it does beg the question, why have I only just got to it now? Well, the answer to that is simple. There are vast amounts of unread books in every nook and cranny in my home, and Like Water for Chocolate, admittedly got forgotten about. I liked the characters, and I felt for all of them, in their difficult situations, although, I thought Pedro was a bit of a coward. John was the better man! I loved the recipes at the beginning of each chapter. It really worked for me, and to be honest, I don't think I've ever got through so much food while reading! This book was just sizzling with tempting smells and was steaming with orgasmic passion. What a wonderful ride.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Rubin

    Romance, recipes, and magical realism...who could resist?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Antonomasia

    I enjoyed this tremendously - which was unexpected. For the first quarter of the book - which I read quickly - I found the tone and the magic realism quite twee, in a way that reminded me a lot of 100 Years of Solitude, or rather my perception of it nearly 25 years ago. I was wondering what was wrong with me that I found this twee and unpalatably artificial, yet I loved a collection of Russian fairy tales I've been dipping into over the last couple of weeks. But something clicked, and I soon, at I enjoyed this tremendously - which was unexpected. For the first quarter of the book - which I read quickly - I found the tone and the magic realism quite twee, in a way that reminded me a lot of 100 Years of Solitude, or rather my perception of it nearly 25 years ago. I was wondering what was wrong with me that I found this twee and unpalatably artificial, yet I loved a collection of Russian fairy tales I've been dipping into over the last couple of weeks. But something clicked, and I soon, at timeswhen I wasn't reading Like Water for Chocolate, I couldn't wait to get back to it, in a way that I hadn't found with any book for a long time. (Perhaps perversely, one of these is more likely to be a 4-star than a 5-star book, as the latter can feel almost too profound or too rich.) The romance plot wasn't the main point of the novel for me, and nor did I find it obtrusive. It served a similar purpose to the investigation in a crime novel which has a strong setting: a framework for hearing about people in a particular place and time. And also about food! Two aspects of the book I now want to read more about are real people's attempts to make the recipes (some recipes are vague about important proportions, so would require experimentation), and the idea that the whole novel is an allegory for the Mexican Revolutionary War (and that it isn't simply part of the background to the story). Maybe it is melodramatic, but Tita, the heroine is aged about 15-20 for most of the novel, living in a society where families were fearsomely strict, where there was no divorce, and there was a war raging locally: I think she can be forgiven for being melodramatic. I didn't like the very ending and felt it didn't suit the 39-year old she had become, but it's not like I've lived in a similar society so ... *shrug*. I just found the whole thing very likeable in a way that might not be justifiable if set down as bullet points. (Apart from Pedro - Tita's attraction to him must be due to chemistry, as in personality he seems uninteresting and not very nice. And his name, combined with the chilli-filled recipes, meant I was also plagued with remembering Pedro Pepper, a character from 1970s-80s children's series the Garden Gang, and that only made it harder to take him seriously.) Whilst it's not stereotype free, especially about qualities Tita's sister Gertrudis seems to have inherited, it seemed less stereotyped than most popular women's fiction that I've read in English (not a huge amount - and it may be that I simply don't know the territory of this Mexican novel). It was from The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2011) - a book I haven't read beyond a few pages - that I first heard of fictional food which transmitted the cook's emotions. Then I discovered it in a 1993 short story collection by Nicola Barker, and thought Aimee Bender had lifted it from there. But Like Water for Chocolate appeared in English a little earlier again (1992) and may have been the source/inspiration for both. Yet after all these examples, it feels like an idea that may have occurred much earlier too, in fairytales, but that is pure conjecture. By the time I was half way through I was eager to find similar novels - but Esquivel's other books in English don't have very good reviews. There are recent sequels to Like Water for Chocolate but they have not been translated, and neither of them centres the most fascinating secondary story in the novel, that of Gertrudis. (That might need a different author, one who was more blatant and assertive about sex and violence, and less romantic.) For many years I've looked at popular women's fiction (such as this book) and wondered what it would be like to be someone who enjoyed it as a genre. Would that involve being someone who found it easier to fit in? I am not sure whether enjoying Like Water for Chocolate means I've changed a little, or if it was the setting and unfamiliar history I liked as much as anything else, attractions that a UK-set equivalent wouldn't have. But alongside enjoying the book itself, I find a strange satisfaction in perhaps having been "normal" enough to like it. And it was gratifying to find out, after more than half a lifetime of seeing the title in shops, libraries, media and all over the place, what it actually means: "at boiling point".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    If all the lights inside you can be lit at once, your heart will burst, and infinity becomes permanent. Fuck. My heart is beating hard these days. Poor Tita makes it beat harder. A beautiful sad story of forbidden love and orgasmic passion, Tita and Pedro's tale is the hope that love IS enough after all. At that life is worth living... Three stars for the book in general, plus one because I'm feeling so "in love" these days.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Warning: This recipe may induce plenty of gushing. See notes below to see how severely affected this reviewer was... and still is) 1. Take one book 2. Add a few sumptuous recipes 3. Infuse with touches of magic realism 4. Add a heap full of fragrant flavours 5. Pour in a cupful of earthy, human emotion 6. Mix in a healthy dose of unresolved lust, tension and heated gazes Pour in a bowl, mix them all together and watch as the perfect love story unfolds. Allow it to simmer, heat and send your system into Warning: This recipe may induce plenty of gushing. See notes below to see how severely affected this reviewer was... and still is) 1. Take one book 2. Add a few sumptuous recipes 3. Infuse with touches of magic realism 4. Add a heap full of fragrant flavours 5. Pour in a cupful of earthy, human emotion 6. Mix in a healthy dose of unresolved lust, tension and heated gazes Pour in a bowl, mix them all together and watch as the perfect love story unfolds. Allow it to simmer, heat and send your system into a seductive frenzy that will leave you feeling dizzy with its luscious writing and mouth-watering recipes. Side notes: Be sure to flush out all superfluous ingredients such as jealous sisters, forbidding, spiteful mothers and outdated, traditional rules that threaten to spoil and get in the way of a happy ending. Chained to Mexican tradition at the time, Tita, the youngest of three daughters is gifted with an exquisitely unique cooking skill. Confined to a dreary future of serving and attending to her mother's needs till her death, she is forbidden the right to marry (according to the staunch rules amongst traditional Mexican families at the time). Naturally tradition finds itself flailing in mid-air upon the arrival of the forbidden - which just so happens to come in the form of the very delicious Pedro. Enchanted by the utterly beguiling Tita, it doesn't take him long to fall in love with the extraordinarily talented cook. When he tries to win her hand in marriage, his request is vehemently refused by Mama Elena, Tita's staunch, unyielding and spiteful mother. To try and soften the blow, Mama Elena offers her older daughter Rosuara to him instead. Out of sheer desperation Pedro agrees to marry her - only doing so to remain close to Tita. For the next 22 years, Tita and Pedro are forced to move in the same circle, swathed in their unconsummated passion for each other – and kept apart by ensuing events which affects everyone in the family… Review: This book is the book that introduced me to a genre that to this day still leaves me enchanted. I actually read this years ago, but the contents of it are still as vividly imprinted into my mind as if I just finished it yesterday. One has to marvel at a book with the capacity to instantly transport you into its earthy, vibrant and voluptuously decadent world, even though you haven't read it in years. The element of magic is a very strong feature in this novel and is written in monthly instalments of magical and sumptuous recipes – each of which plays a pivotal part in the events that follow within the story. Each dish that Tita prepares speaks of the emotions that she cannot always express when around her family and is used as a means to express her love to Pedro and often has comic and heartbreaking effects on everyone else who consumes her dishes. The writing, the characters - everything about this novel has a sensuality about it that always leans on the precipice of something greater. It's not what is said that makes the novel so fantastic, but how the author invites you to use your imagination with her sensual, decadent words. Every word is smooth as velvet chocolate, melts on your tongue and lulls your system into a drug-induced state of hazy, hedonistic pleasure. In short, the book is an aphrodisiac. And if you don't quite believe me, I'd highly recommend reading that shower scene. (*Tammy pauses to recover from a bout of swooning*) I'd love to reveal more about the characters, but for once, I'm going to just tell you that this is a book where the characters, their emotions, interactions and connections need to be experienced firsthand - especially the electric chemistry between Tita and Pedro. What I can say though, is that their love story is a story I would want for my own... except without the horrible mother and evil sister of course. Part mythical and partly historical, Like water for chocolate is an enchantingly magical, sumptuous feast of a novel touched with a quality of earthiness and idiosyncratic grandeur that makes for a delicious read… Yes, yes... I abuse the word earthy. It's completely and utterly the book's fault. Still, you should go out and read it this instant. It's a timeless classic every die-hard romantic should experience.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Okay, so maybe more of a 3 1/2 star. I have a love/hate relationship with magical realism and, if anything, part of my disappoint with the novel comes from the fact that there's not as much "magic" as I had hoped for (I prefer Isabel Allende's House of the Sprits by comparison). However, I still enjoyed the novel as it was unique in its structure, and the conduit for the magical aspects of the novel--food--was beautifully rendered in the recipes and descriptions of the connection between food an Okay, so maybe more of a 3 1/2 star. I have a love/hate relationship with magical realism and, if anything, part of my disappoint with the novel comes from the fact that there's not as much "magic" as I had hoped for (I prefer Isabel Allende's House of the Sprits by comparison). However, I still enjoyed the novel as it was unique in its structure, and the conduit for the magical aspects of the novel--food--was beautifully rendered in the recipes and descriptions of the connection between food and culture, as well as food and memory. Tita, the youngest daughter in her family, is doomed by tradition. She grows up knowing that she will never marry as it is her fate to take care of her tyrannical mother as she enters old age. Tita might have been able to resign herself to her destiny if it weren't for Pedro, the man with whom she falls passionately in love at first sight. Tita's mother, of course, forbids the marriage and instead does the unthinkable--offers Pedro her eldest daughter Rosaura's hand in marriage. Pedro, the effin' fool that he is (oh, that's my other complaint with the book; I did not cotton to Pedro, although, to be fair, he's not a very well-developed character and so his actions come across as moronic since his only driving impulse is to be with Tita), accepts because it is the only way he can be near Tita. Oh, yeah. You know that's a plan that's going to end in a fustercluck. Tita is both elated to know that Pedro is only marrying her sister out of love for Tita and depressed by the fact that their love is to go unconsummated as long as her mother's eagle eye ensures that the two are kept apart. Unable to express her innermost desires, they instead surface in her famed cooking. Ordinary meals become an emotional feast as those who eat her food are consumed by Tita's suppressed passion, anger, and resentment. The episodic structure of the novel is genius, separated month by month and beginning with the recipe around which the story will revolve. The characters are somewhat one-dimensional, but given that the novel has a fairytale quality to it and reads more as myth than reality, I'm willing to forgive that. What ruined the entire novel for me was the ending. I don't want to ruin it for other readers, so I will simply say that I don't think Tita chose the right man and leave it at that. Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicki

    The only good thing in this book was John!!! I loved him so much and lost all respect for Tita when she chose that man-whore Pedro over him. I respect Gertrudis too but man, Tita went so far down hill when she decided that Pedro, who only seems to show affection when he damn well pleases, was a better man than John, who is kind to everyone including the man-whore. Basically the message of this book is that sensual passion is apparently greater than true affection. Basically it doesn't matter if The only good thing in this book was John!!! I loved him so much and lost all respect for Tita when she chose that man-whore Pedro over him. I respect Gertrudis too but man, Tita went so far down hill when she decided that Pedro, who only seems to show affection when he damn well pleases, was a better man than John, who is kind to everyone including the man-whore. Basically the message of this book is that sensual passion is apparently greater than true affection. Basically it doesn't matter if you respect women just as long as your good in bed Tita will take you. Ughh this book, in the beginning I thought it was ok, the middle was great because Tita was happy again and John was such a nice caring person, but the ending Oh my that ending. The ending is pretty much the stupidest ending I have come across in a really long time and trust me i have read a lot of terrible books in my time, but this takes the cake, (erotic cake pun intended).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Em Lost In Books

    I have come across this book many times on GR but never considered reading it. But then I find it hard to resist BRs, so when a friend suggested this as weekend BR I jumped in right away and finished this in few hours. It's a short and easy read. Like Water for Chocolate tells us the story of Tita and her family. Her falling in love and then a heartbreak because of a stupid family tradition. But at the heart it is story of Tita and her love affair with cooking. How she finds solace in food and ho I have come across this book many times on GR but never considered reading it. But then I find it hard to resist BRs, so when a friend suggested this as weekend BR I jumped in right away and finished this in few hours. It's a short and easy read. Like Water for Chocolate tells us the story of Tita and her family. Her falling in love and then a heartbreak because of a stupid family tradition. But at the heart it is story of Tita and her love affair with cooking. How she finds solace in food and how it helps her to overcome the grief and misery in her life. Language of the book is simple, like grandma telling a bedtime story (minus all those sensual and erotic details). Each chapter starts with a mouth watering recipe. I wanted to transport myself into this story and help Tita in kitchen (in spite of the fact that I don't like to cook) and gobble down all those delicacies. Since it's magical realm, I loved how Laura Esquivel used Tita's culinary skills to express emotions. Tita was an introvert but her food did plenty of talking. She showed love, anger, pain, ecstasy, lust and many other emotions through the food that she made. While reading this book I kept thinking about The House of the Spirits, which I think was not a good sign. It meant that this story was not good enough to have all my attention. Though the story was likable I didn't like the characters. Tita was stupid and easily scared. Pedro was arrogant and selfish. Rasura was a cry baby and Mama Elena was a tyrant. Most all I hated the ending. It was confusing. I don't think I will recommend it to my friends.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    This is a classic love story, wrapped in a lovely shrug of magic realism. The story takes place in Mexico just before the start of the Revolution. In the De la Garza ranch, tyrannical owner, Mama Elena has decided that Tita, her younger daughter will never married, remaining single to take care of her in her old age. Tita, who grows up to be a master chef, has only food and cooking to express herself. Soon, Tita's relationship with food is such, her feelings soon seep into what she cooks invadin This is a classic love story, wrapped in a lovely shrug of magic realism. The story takes place in Mexico just before the start of the Revolution. In the De la Garza ranch, tyrannical owner, Mama Elena has decided that Tita, her younger daughter will never married, remaining single to take care of her in her old age. Tita, who grows up to be a master chef, has only food and cooking to express herself. Soon, Tita's relationship with food is such, her feelings soon seep into what she cooks invading all those who eat what she has prepared. The structure of the book mimics a popular edition from the 19th Century in Mexico called Calendario para Señoritas Mexicanas, (Calendar for Mexican Ladies), a sort of manual for good behavior inspired by European models, including recipes, dressing and fashion ideas, and instructions on how to behave, all with the purpose to create a profile of the desirable woman. As in the Calendario, along the book Tita shares her recipes with us (all extremely delicious if not easy to follow). Things seem to move along nicely until Tita falls in love. The object of her affection, Pedro, asks for her hand, and—as expected—Mama Elena says no. Instead she offers her oldest daughter to him, which—cowardly—he accepts, hence staying close to Tita but unable to be with her. Eventually, Tita must choose between marrying a loving, devoted doctor or saving herself for Pedro, her first true love. The ending is both surprising and somehow satisfactory, never as much though, as Tita’s cooking. If you like magic realism, or are searching for a good love story, give Esquivel's first novel a chance. You may find that there's more in what we eat and like than you ever imagined.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    Like Water for Chocolate was recommended to me by a fellow blogger. I stayed up until 3 am reading it and I liked it immensely. This is a beautiful and potent love story of Tita, the youngest daughter in the family. Born in a kitchen, Tita grows up to be a master chef, a real artist in the kitchen. This novel reflects that, as every chapter is predated by a recipe. Mexican culture and cuisine are present at every page of this novel. Perhaps it is as much a novel about Mexico, as it is about Tita Like Water for Chocolate was recommended to me by a fellow blogger. I stayed up until 3 am reading it and I liked it immensely. This is a beautiful and potent love story of Tita, the youngest daughter in the family. Born in a kitchen, Tita grows up to be a master chef, a real artist in the kitchen. This novel reflects that, as every chapter is predated by a recipe. Mexican culture and cuisine are present at every page of this novel. Perhaps it is as much a novel about Mexico, as it is about Tita. At the start of the novel, Tita is an adolescent girl in love. Our female protagonist is entrapped by tradition that dictates that the youngest daughter mustn't marry but rather take care of its mother for the rest of her life. When Tita announces to her rather abusive mother that Pedro is coming to ask for her hand in marriage, she invokes her mother's fury and hatred. Forbidden romance creating tension that is poured into the cooking of our protagonist. It is through her meals that Pedro and Tita communicate their love. Esquivel writes so fluently and poetically. If you love magic realism, you'll probably going to love this novel. I bought the Croatian edition because it was illustrated by my favourite illustrator. Another reason why I'm happy I own a copy is because I plan to reread it some day. It is that good! I wasn't disappointed by this novel in any way. The characters are lively and well portrayed, the narrative is interesting, the plot holds the reader's attention and the writing is beautiful. At times the novel is a bit melodramatic, but somehow melodrama and magic realism come together nicely and the book ends up being a success. There is also some subtle dark humour in it that I enjoyed. Some episodes have a note of absurdity that seems to both mock soap operas and pay them respect. Altogether, I quite enjoyed this novel. A must read for lovers of Latin American literature.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ayse_

    This is a lovely book served in 12 courses (of meal). When it came out, it became a best seller right away; a 'first timer's luck' for Laura Esquivel. Even 2o years after being first published, it is still an intriguing story, knowing that many young girls around the world are still forced to obey illogical rules of tradition. The saddest part is; these undertakings are done by women onto women, mostly mother to daughter.. Esquivel's novel written in Magic Realism style, tells us the story of de This is a lovely book served in 12 courses (of meal). When it came out, it became a best seller right away; a 'first timer's luck' for Laura Esquivel. Even 2o years after being first published, it is still an intriguing story, knowing that many young girls around the world are still forced to obey illogical rules of tradition. The saddest part is; these undertakings are done by women onto women, mostly mother to daughter.. Esquivel's novel written in Magic Realism style, tells us the story of de La Garza Family, where the youngest daughter Tita is not allowed to marry to keep with tradition of looking after her mother. Growing up in an all women household where showing emotions were severely punished, Tita first loses and in the end regains her soul and self back. Her emotions are expressed through her cooking, which results in surprising outcomes. The analogy of making good chocolate used in the book is the summary of human spiritual maturation where Esquivel states: “the goodness of the chocolate depends on three things, namely: that the chocolate beans used are good and without defect, that you mix several different types of beans to make the chocolate, and, finally, the amount of toasting.” This book is a recipe to revive the spirit and is full of wisdom, sensuality and magic..

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    Like Water For Chocolate is an intriguing saga of a large Mexican family at the turn of the century in the days of Poncho Villa and focusing on the youngest daughter Tita. According to tradition, Tita, being the youngest daughter, was unable to marry because it was her responsibility to remain home to care for her mother, Mama Elena. We witness how Tita copes with her thwarted love for Pedro. This book literally sparkles with magical realism as well as delightful recipes opening all twelve chapt Like Water For Chocolate is an intriguing saga of a large Mexican family at the turn of the century in the days of Poncho Villa and focusing on the youngest daughter Tita. According to tradition, Tita, being the youngest daughter, was unable to marry because it was her responsibility to remain home to care for her mother, Mama Elena. We witness how Tita copes with her thwarted love for Pedro. This book literally sparkles with magical realism as well as delightful recipes opening all twelve chapters. I loved this book. "Tita didn't distinguish between tears of laughter and tears of sorrow. For her laughing was a form of crying." "Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire, in short, in its food. If one doesn't find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not one single match will ever be lighted." ". . . . he was pleased to see the writing on the wall, in firm phosphorescent letters: 'Because I don't want to.' With those words Tita had taken her first step toward freedom." "Tita was literally 'like water for chocolate' -- she was on the verge of boiling over. How irritable she was!"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    The back of my edition of Like Water for Chocolate describes it as a "fairy tale, and a soap opera", and this is 100% accurate. I can see why this novel is as popular as it is. There's a lot to like here, its entertaining, dramatic, fast-moving, and outrageous. What I've realised, or reconfirmed, while reading this is that romance just isn't the genre for me. I wanted more from the characters, who ultimately seemed a bit superficial, and although I enjoyed the historical context of the Mexican R The back of my edition of Like Water for Chocolate describes it as a "fairy tale, and a soap opera", and this is 100% accurate. I can see why this novel is as popular as it is. There's a lot to like here, its entertaining, dramatic, fast-moving, and outrageous. What I've realised, or reconfirmed, while reading this is that romance just isn't the genre for me. I wanted more from the characters, who ultimately seemed a bit superficial, and although I enjoyed the historical context of the Mexican Revolution, I wanted more of that too. The magic realism was fun, but mostly reminded me of why I like authors who have explored it in more depth.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    3.5 stars. Beautiful book about love and the forces ( positive and also distructive) it creates. Felt good to read after a long time another book written by a south american writer. Makes me want to come back to Marquez and Llosa and their magical realism.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    Like Water for Chocolate was unbelievable – a whirlwind of colors that I got through in like two days, and so when I finished, everything closed up inside my head as if in a loop and I didn't even know where to begin with this review. That's why here I am writing one, two months after I've actually read the book. It was an amazing story, truly one of a kind. I'm not a big fan of magical realism, it's very hard to find books with magical realism that will go down well for me, but Like Water for Cho Like Water for Chocolate was unbelievable – a whirlwind of colors that I got through in like two days, and so when I finished, everything closed up inside my head as if in a loop and I didn't even know where to begin with this review. That's why here I am writing one, two months after I've actually read the book. It was an amazing story, truly one of a kind. I'm not a big fan of magical realism, it's very hard to find books with magical realism that will go down well for me, but Like Water for Chocolate was written exactly in this way. It was subtle, but very emotional, colorful and vivid. Plus, there was the whole cooking and baking bit. I couldn't resist the amazing descriptions of foods. Reading this book could basically be called feasting! Like Water for Chocolate is kind of a Cinderella story that showers you with details about Mexican culture, cuisine and sprinkles it with a pretty heavy dose of magical realism. It's unforgettable. You definitely need to read it. Book Blog | Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter

  26. 4 out of 5

    Em*bedded-in-books*

    3.5 stars. Am not a fan of 'Magical Realism ' genre. Still I enjoyed reading this short book oozing with the absurd as things were piling up thickly one above the other. Added to it, the book started.with food. Food never fails to captivate me. The weird story of a delinquent family, highly matriarchal - an old witch of a mother, three sisters, the elder Sister marrying the lover of the youngest at the mother's bequest and living in the same house , and the middle Sister running off naked with a re 3.5 stars. Am not a fan of 'Magical Realism ' genre. Still I enjoyed reading this short book oozing with the absurd as things were piling up thickly one above the other. Added to it, the book started.with food. Food never fails to captivate me. The weird story of a delinquent family, highly matriarchal - an old witch of a mother, three sisters, the elder Sister marrying the lover of the youngest at the mother's bequest and living in the same house , and the middle Sister running off naked with a revolutionary army soldier. Passions are high, strange things happen, ghosts appear, children die... And the family carries on as nothing ever happened. I loved the frequent food and food preparation references, though these were moot to me, being a vegetarian. I was amazed at the amount of sexualty oozing from the pages... Still I liked reading the book, in 3 long stretches. Would not recommend it to people who want their books mild and decent. If it were a movie, it would.be A rated.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    5***** and a ❤ UPDATE: Sept 2013 On her death, Tita’s recipe book falls to her grandniece, who then relates the story of her extraordinary relative. The novel takes place in the early 1900s on a ranch in northern Mexico, near the Texas border. The youngest of three sisters, Tita is destined from birth to stay at home to care for her mother, denied the option of love and marriage and her own family. But her attraction to the son of a neighbor rancher, Pedro, will not be so easily dismissed. The poe 5***** and a ❤ UPDATE: Sept 2013 On her death, Tita’s recipe book falls to her grandniece, who then relates the story of her extraordinary relative. The novel takes place in the early 1900s on a ranch in northern Mexico, near the Texas border. The youngest of three sisters, Tita is destined from birth to stay at home to care for her mother, denied the option of love and marriage and her own family. But her attraction to the son of a neighbor rancher, Pedro, will not be so easily dismissed. The poetry of Esquivel's writing is extraordinary - and especially so in Spanish. The recipes are wonderful - if incomplete in their directions. Esquivel’s inclusion of elements of magical realism is seamless – as it should be. The appearance of ghosts or elements of fantastic imagery (e.g. the flood of tears) are related as fact and rather than interrupt the story, they further it. While many see this as a love story of "all-consuming passion," I see it as a story about longing - about wanting something so desperately that you are consumed by want. (view spoiler)[Tita had love with John but chose to follow longing for Pedro - to their mutual destruction. (hide spoiler)] I have read this book at least 5 times - once in Spanish. The date read I listed is the first book discussion group read; but I had read it previously, and I've read it again since. In May 2007 I re-read it for the book club that reads only Latino/Latina authors. The restaurant where we met replicated the December (final chapter) wedding feast for us. YUM If you have the chance to see the movie - be sure to get the version that is in Spanish with English subtitles. Even if you don't understand Spanish, hearing it in Spanish will give you some idea of the melifluousness of Esquivel's language.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    This is kind of the ultimate chick novel, in that it's about unrequited love, romance, food, and it's a very well-written piece of magical realism as opposed to the kind of mass-produced romantic tripe that's marketed towards women these days. This is a beautiful, beautiful novel - not something that someone forged in order to meet a contract obligation stating that if they write a generic chick novel that they can follow it up with whatever they want. This is filled to the brim with magical real This is kind of the ultimate chick novel, in that it's about unrequited love, romance, food, and it's a very well-written piece of magical realism as opposed to the kind of mass-produced romantic tripe that's marketed towards women these days. This is a beautiful, beautiful novel - not something that someone forged in order to meet a contract obligation stating that if they write a generic chick novel that they can follow it up with whatever they want. This is filled to the brim with magical realism, mostly in connection with food. Crying floods of tears from onions, eating rose petals ignites everyone's loins, that kind of thing. However, it's constructed in a way that is not entirely unbelievable. The plot/story will definitely appeal more to women than men (basically, Tita and Pedro are in love, but because Tita is the youngest (or the oldest? I forget), she must stay single and take care of her mother. Pedro is forced to marry Rosura in Tita's place, which he does, so that he can still be close to Tita.), but at the end of the class I read this in, most of the men admitted that they liked it. Apparently the movie was trite, soft porn, so if you've seen that and haven't read the book, don't let that effect your judgment!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I don't know why I had not even heard of this book until yet! Thanks you Kavita for recommending this book to me! ^^ I went into this book assuming that it was only about magical realism,but this book was full of surprises; I had expected there to be magic in the book,but magic,romance and food? For a person like me who loves cooking,this book couldn't have been more perfect! The best thing about this book is that every chapter starts with a recipe, which is also connected to the events taking p I don't know why I had not even heard of this book until yet! Thanks you Kavita for recommending this book to me! ^^ I went into this book assuming that it was only about magical realism,but this book was full of surprises; I had expected there to be magic in the book,but magic,romance and food? For a person like me who loves cooking,this book couldn't have been more perfect! The best thing about this book is that every chapter starts with a recipe, which is also connected to the events taking place at that time. It was an amazing book and I am really glad that I decided to read it. I loved everything about this book,it was a quick and wonderful read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mari

    Full review to come Another book for Hispanic Heritage Month! I used to watch the movie adaptation of this with my sisters when we were kids (appropriate or not....) Finally reading the book was like coming home, in a lot of ways. The prose is so beautiful, smooth, seamless all while being tragic and at times over-the-top. I think it's a must read for everyone, if only to experience.

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