Karin Archibald, September 6, 2013 (view all comments by Karin Archibald)
This is a delightful, easy to read novel that I have read and loaned out over and over again. I love how the story is told with each chapter involving the preparation of some type of recipe. The almost "fantasy-like" embellishments of the tale make it funny and fantastic. This book will stay on my shelf forever.
When I read the first pages of the book I was very confused. It included recipes, a love story and I couldn't really figure out why these stories went together. It talked about the main character whose name was Tita and how she fell into deep love with a guy named Pedro. She had two older sisters named Gertrud's and Rosaura. Her mothers name was Mama Elena. She was a terrible person, when Pedro went to ask for Tita's hand in marriage, Mama Elena told him that he couldn't marry Tita because of a horrible tradition that had been followed for years. It was that the youngest daughter couldn't marry because she had to stay in and take care of her mother until she died.
I thought that that was just crazy, she didn't let her daughter marry because of that horrible tradition. The worst part, I thought, was that Mama Elena told Pedro he couldn't marry Tita but if he really wanted to get married so much than he could marry her older sister Rosaura which I thought was awful since Tita was crushed from the decision her mother had made plus the decision the love of her life had made on agreeing to marry the sister.
Pedro had made a promise to Tita telling her that he would love her for ever! I thought that this whole love story was very good. Ii kept you reading and wanting to turn the page. My favorite part of the book was the recipes it was very creative of the author to add them. I really liked that at the end Pedro and Tita stayed together, and that Rosaura's daughter Esperanza got to marry, since her mother wanted to follow the same tradition Mama Elena followed. What I didn't like was the ending. I thought that Pedro and Tita were going to stay together forever but them they both ended up dying. I think that what was missing was the author explaining what was going to happen to Tita and Pedro, if they had any children or anything like that. Other than that I though that the book was very interesting.
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m.lata, February 14, 2011 (view all comments by m.lata)
The novel that I am going to review is called "Like water for chocolate." The story takes place on a ranch on the Texas/Mexico border in the late nineteenth century. It is a beutiful and touching tale of the youngest daughter of the formidable matriarch Mama Elena who forbids Tita to marry her true love Pedro, because tradition says that the youngest daughter must care for her mother until her death. Despite everything she's been through Tita still stands up for herself and does everything to make her life better.
The style that Laura Esquivel has applied in the book is very different than every other I have ever seenLaura Esquivel's book is billed as A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies.Few times does an author create something completely unique. In my opinion Laura Esquivel has accomplished just that. Her themes of passion, familial insubordination, dictatorial governance, and romance are not new to literature. But communicating those themes through family life on the ranch of northern Mexico using magical realism and monthly recipes as metaphors is truly pioneering. What is so amazing to me is how Ms. Equivel is able to create such sensuality in her descriptions of food. For example, in the month of March, Pedro gives Tita some roses. Mama Elena orders them to be destroyed. Tita decides to use the roses in a dish she is making for dinner which later on Pedro calls "meal of Gods!".
I was into Tita's life story more and more with every page of the book. I liked the plot, although it turned out to contain a little bit to much of magical elements and unrealistic things. I truly recommend it to women that like sad and depressing novels.
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My first impression of the novel was that I thought it was an awfully dull book and also an extremely confusing with all of the recipes that are included in the novel. In the first couple of chapters they talked about this tradition that the De La Garza family had. The tradition was that, the youngest daughter of the family has to take care of the mother until she dies. I thought that was rather a strange tradition. That is how the whole story opens.
By the end of the book, however, I had a completely different opinion. By the end, I think that it is an excellent book! Since it was about a love story, I thought it was going to have a happy ending. I would never have thought that this book would end the way it did. I thought it was going to have an ending like a typical love story, but this wasn’t the case. My favorite part of the novel was when Esperanza and Alex grew up together and end up marrying one another. My least favorite part of the book was when Pedro decided to marry Rosaura, which is Tita's older sister. Even though Pedro married Rosaura to be near Tita, I still fell bad for Tita, because she had to see how the love of her life was marrying her older sister and also having children with her. That was my least favorite part.
In my opinion I thought that they should have left out the sexual parts of the book. The thing that I thought was missing in the novel was the reason why Mama Elena treated Tita so badly. Even though it was Tita’s responsibility to care for her mom until she dies, Mama Elena was cruel to her. I think it was because Tita wasn’t the daughter of the man she truly loved, and so that's why she treated her the way she did. The book doesn't really menssions the reason why her treatment towards her. Overall the book was incredible, I really enjoyed reading it.
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A love story wrapped in divine Mexican dishes with just enough charm, magic, and romance to make it a one-of-a-kind fairy tale. Esquivel's writing is so lyrical and animated you can smell the sausages on the grill and feel the overwhelming emotions of unrequited love and jealousy as they spill off the pages. Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this novel will capture you and hold you tight until the end.
"Like water for chocolate" refers to the desired temperature for the perfect cup of hot chocolate. And that is: just at the point of bursting into a rolling boil. So, too, is the steamy love affair between Tita and Pedro: just about to boil over. Blistering, indeed!
by USA Today,
"A mystical Mexican love story that will charm the palate and the heart."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"A tall-tale, fairy-tale, soap-opera romance, Mexican cookbook and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one, Like Water For Chocolate is one tasty entree from first-time novelist Laura Esquivel."
by The San Francisco Chronicle,
"A tall tale, fairy tale, soap-opera romance, Mexican cookbook, and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one."
by Lightning Source,
"A mystical Mexican love story that will charm the palate and the heart". — USA Today
"A tall tale, fairy tale, soap-opera romance, Mexican cookbook, and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one". — The San Francisco Chronicle
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in tum-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.
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