Tammy's Reviews > Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 26, 11

bookshelves: adult-fiction, magic-realism, romance, favorites

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Side notes: Be sure to flush out all superfluous ingredients such as jealous sisters, forbidding, spiteful mothers and outdated, traditional rules that threaten to spoil and get in the way of a happy ending.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…


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.
12 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Like Water for Chocolate.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Hayter i have never read this book, but now i really want to!

Tammy jackie wrote: "i have never read this book, but now i really want to!"

I wish I had a copy that I could send you but I don't :( Sob. It's one of my favourites of all time.

message 3: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Hayter that's ok. :-)

can you believe it, i haven't even seen the movie.

back to top