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Like Water for Chocolate

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  246,878 ratings  ·  5,027 reviews
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 wi
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Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Anchor (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steve Sckenda
Mar 01, 2015 Steve Sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of Magical Realism; Lovers of Food
Tita de la Garza lives a life of self-sacrifice in revolutionary Mexico at the beginning of the twentieth century. There is power, love, and life in food, and this novel explores the life force of food and the women who nourish us by starving themselves of their own desires in order to do so.

Food takes on mystical qualities, and Laura Esquivel structures her story into 12 monthly chapters, each centered around a recipe with exotic ingredients that is central to the plot of the chapter: Christma
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...more
Amanda
Apr 22, 2009 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people in love, sexy folk, and romantics
Recommended to Amanda by: Zeke, regarding lovers and pie
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.
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 ...more
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
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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
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mai ahmd



كالماء للشكولاتة لذيذة بقدر ما فيها من وصفات وتحضيرات مطبخية وروائح الطعام ، استندت على الخيال والعاطفة المتطرفة التي لا تعرف قيودا كقيود العائلة أو الدين أو التقاليد .. فكسرت كل الأعراف التي تقف في وجه حب عاصف .. عندما تقرأ هذا النص تعرف إنك تقف أمام روائية قادرة على شد انتباهك بطريقتها الغرائبية الشيقة التي ربطت ما بين المطبخ والطعام وبين الحب والخيال ، الضوء والدفء والعاطفة .. هذه الفنتازيا السحرية لقصة امرأة لم تكن تملك سوى مهارتها في المطبخ لتناضل بها ولتعالج بها ولتحب بها إنها وصفة غريبة و
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Jared Smith
Few times does an author create something completely unique; 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.

Tita is a suppressed daughter of Mama Elena, head of a Mexican ranch at the time of the Mexican Revolution. Tita was denied t
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J Omar Vidrio
Un libro lleno de mexicanidad.
La magia que tiene Laura Esquivel, al mezclar la deliciosa comida mexicana con está historia tan hermosa de amor, es sublime.
Los absurdos sucesos acompañados de la realidad histórica de la época crean un maravilloso "cuento", una de las mejores historias mexicanas.

Quien no sea seducido por los platillos, las recetas y los sucesos que en este libro ocurren, tiene un enorme problema en el sentido del gusto.
Sarah ( Paris )
لاورا إسكيبيل تروي لنا في هذه الرواية : وصفات الطعام المكسيكي مع التاريخ والخرافات التي تشتهر بها البلاد عبر قصة عائلية ؛ قصة تيتا .
تيتا كانت الإبنة الصغرى للسيدة الينا وهي سيدة تجّلُ التقاليد وتتمسك بها ، وحسب التقاليد تيتا -كونها صغرى بناتها- ستقوم على رعاية والدتها حتى وفاتها ،
تيتا كانت طاهية بارعة لأسباب كثيرة منها نشأتها بين جدران المطبخ ،
لكن حياة تيتا لن تكون سهلة .
في الرواية مُزجت وصفات الطعام والتفاعلات الكيميائية مع القصص والخبرات وحتى تلك المصائب التي تصاحب أحيانا وصفات الأطايب التي
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Roniq
Apr 09, 2008 Roniq rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Food lovers, Hispanic Culture, those looking for a quick fun read
I got this for .50 cents at the Bellevue Library Bookstore. I love that place. I've been wanting to read it for a long time. The older guy who sold it to me said "This book is weird". "Great, I said". My kind of Book. A tale of Mexican life complete with food recipes,monthly installments and Home remedies. I just spent time in Texas and really enjoyed being surrounded by Hispanic and Southern culture more than I am here in Seattle. I had never heard of a Frito Pie until I was in Corpus Chrisi. H ...more
Illyria
This book was recommended to me by a friend after I sent her a couple of recipes touted as the surest way to win any guy's heart. And indeed the book is full of references to Mexican cooking; every chapter is preceded by a recipe.

I think my most memorable impression of this book is the way it sticks to hard realism one moment and strays into the realm of fantasy the next. It left me lurching trying to adjust my perception, until I finally gave up attempting to fit it into either realism or fant
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April
This is the story of Tita, a woman who is forbidden to marry her love, Pedro, because of a family tradition where the youngest girl can never marry and must take care of her mother instead. As a way to stay close to Tita, Pedro marries her older sister, Rosaura. Tita expresses her loss and heartbreak in her cooking and which become a part of every meal she creates.

Okay, I have to admit something here--I read this book after I watched the movie. I fell in love with the movie and wanted to read th
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Aimee
There are two things that made me want to try this book: the story, which is centered on food, and the word “chocolate” in the title. After reading it, I learned the book had more to offer. Set in a Mexican home, Like Water for Chocolate is a story about Tita, her love for Pedro and her talent for cooking. This, for me, is a unique book as each chapter begins with a recipe that the main character cooks in the story. With dishes like Turkey Mole with Almonds and Sesame Seed or Quail in Rose Petal ...more
Julia
I'm not rating this yet.
I'm not reviewing this yet.

I have so many feelings, but I don't know how to verbalize them. I can't decide if I loved or hated this book.

Review to come once I figure all this out.

Edit: I settled on three stars. I've a feeling this review might also mention how much I hate the star rating system. Ugh.
pinkpinkpink (teaching my cat how to read)
Some books should be tasted, some devoured. This one is to be savored.
As of all women, Tita dela Garza was bound by many things. Her love and uncanny sixth sense of everything concerning cooking bounds her to that magical place- the kitchen. As the youngest daughter, family tradition bounds her from marriage. Yet her love for Pedro, her sister's husband bound her to a life of longing and unquenched desires. When fate loosened one of these binds, Tita has a decision to make: give in to turbulent
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Mayra
I expected more. This could have been such a great, great novel. It has all the potential necessary for a classic. However, so many things bothered me. From the get go, the narrative disappointed me: so simplistic, clipped. Prose has no rhythm. Being fair, maybe the translation was a problem here.

Plot moved too fast, while character development went along at a snail’s pace. Major things happened to main characters before I had any idea of who they really were and how to feel about them.

The novel
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طَيْف
description

قراءة لذيذة لا تُقاوم لمن هم مثلي...وصفة مثالية جمعت بين الرومانسية والواقعية السحرية والخرافات والتاريخ والحياة الاجتماعية ووصفات الطعام المكسيكية وأسرار الطهي.
"تيتا"...تعيش مع أسرتها في كواهويلا في زمن الثورة المكسيكية، وهي الصغرى بين ثلاث شقيقات...وامتثالا للتقاليد فإن الصغرى لا تتزوج وعليها أن ترعى والدتها حتى تموت...ولكن "تيتا" تقع في حب "بيدرو" الذي يطلبها من والدتها، فترفض الأم وتعرض عليه الزواج بأختها "روساورا"...ويوافقها بنيّة البقاء بقرب حبيبته...
بين تيتا والمطبخ ارتباط ليس له مثيل...
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Tita is the youngest in her family, and is therefore tasked with taking care of her mother and becoming the cook of the family. She is not allowed to marry, and Mama Elena is determined to keep her from participating in any sinful activities.

Mama Elena can't keep Tita's emotions from having an impact on everyone who eats her food, however, and each chapter comes with its own recipe, its own emotion, and its own little tale of emotion manifested in food consumed. I love this part of the story, a
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Kathleen
Sep 22, 2008 Kathleen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cooks :)
I'm starting to feel a little hyperbolic - is it wrong to rate everything you put in here as 5 stars?? But - I personally, love this book. I've never seen the movie - I heard it was alright, but not great.

The book - I just love it. But maybe that is because I tend to love the whole Latin-American magical realism genre. The way the veil between living and dead is non-existent, the universally accepted emotional and supernatural cause and effect, the subconscious made into real daily life.

And the
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Heather Andersen
Conceptually, I loved this book. Who can resist a story that is artfully blended with delicious recipes, and even includes the full recipe at each new chapter? I would like to give it the benefit of the doubt and suppose that I read a bad translation (the book is originally in Spanish) but no...I think it's a great concept destroyed by ugly writing.

It took two days to finish, and would have taken less but I only read it in short snatches of down time over a weekend. The language was simple, not
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Fahad
كالماء للشوكولاتة

تخلط لورا اسيكيبل روايتها اللطيفة بوصفات الأكل المكسيكية الشهيرة، لتقدم لنا قصة (تيتا) الفتاة المكسيكية والتي تمنعها والدتها وفقاً للتقاليد من الزواج من الرجل الذي تحبه، لتبقى إلى جانبها وترعاها في شيخوختها، فيقرر بيدرو – عاشق تيتا الأبله - الزواج من أختها ليظل بالقرب من حبيبته، وهو قرب لا يحدث لأن والدتها ترسله مع ابنتها الأخرى بعيداً إلى أمريكا، تدور أحداث الرواية وتعصف بتيتا وبالجميع ونعيش التفاصيل السحرية التي تميز أدب أمريكا اللاتينية، الرواية ممتعة رغم أن توظيف الطبخ والو
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Ahmad Sharabiani
195. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
مثل آب برای شکلات - لورا اسکوئیل (روشنگران) ادبیات
کتاب تا به پایان آمد، داغ داغ دوباره خواندم، آشپزیم بهتر شد، اگر از احوالات داستان خواسته باشید، ملالی که ندارد هیچ، بسیار هم همچو شیرین ما شیرین است، انگار قند و دوران کودکی. خوانش دوم که به سرانجام رسید، انگار کردم، شکلات خوشمزه ای بود که در دهانم آهسته آب شد، بار دوم دفترچه را پر کرده بودم از یادداشت، برای همین بود که سه باره خواندم
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amal
هذا الاسم الجذّاب للرواية "كالماء للشوكولاتة" هو تعبير عن حالة مزاجية سيئة لتيتا بطلة الرواية التي تتشكل حياتها منذ الولادة داخل المطبخ، الواقعية السحرية وتغلغل الروائح والنكهات في الرواية يجعل منها فاهيتا أدبية لذيذة لتُقرأ في جلسة واحدة.

الدمع الفائض يسيل على درجات السلم ويُسمّم حلوى الزفاف، خميرة الغضب لها فاعلية أسرع من خميرة الخبز، اشتعال جذوة الحب يسبب الحرائق والنهايات الدرامية !
الرواية هي رؤية للحياة بعينيّ حبيسة ماما إيلينا المتمردة، تشببهات الكاتبة الفاتنة تظهر غنية بالنكهة والمعنى كأطب
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Yazeed AlMogren
رواية خفيفة تدور أحداثها في مزرعة عائلة مكسيكية محافظة تتوارث بعض العادات والتقاليد المرهقة لكاهل البشر، تبدأ فصولها بوصفة تحضير طبخة ومن ثم تبدأ الأحداث بالتداخل مع هذه الوصفة، تذكرني بأفروديت لإيزابيل اللندي
Momina Masood
Delicioso! Muy delicioso!

Very charming read! Much recommended to all food lovers, and those who don't cringe reading romantic melodramas. Absolutely adored the elements of fantasy employed in this novel, and the way they were employed. Made everything much more amusing and delightful. The mystical treatment of physical love was endearing (some might find it cringe-worthy), and all the characters were lovable (except you-know-who) and memorable, especially dear, dear Tita! Much love to Laura for
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Aubrey
The book is decent. The recipes would be worth coming back to for trying out. Otherwise, the fantastical premise is nothing inspiring. There's your romance, your death, your regret for past actions, your overwhelming hate for a familial tyrant, etc etc. It was a quick read, but doesn't leave the reader much to reminisce over.
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A teacher by trade, Laura Esquivel gained international attention with Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies and The Law of Love. In both books she manages to incorporate her teaching abilities by giving her readers lessons about life. During an on-line Salon interview with Joan Smith, she said, "As a teacher I realize that what one lear ...more
More about Laura Esquivel...
The Law of Love Malinche Swift as Desire Between Two Fires: Intimate Writings on Life, Love, Food, and Flavor A Lupita le gustaba planchar

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“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves” 1811 likes
“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. In this case, the oxygen for example, would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word, or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. 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, is its food. If one doesn't find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.” 130 likes
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