Taylor K.'s Reviews > Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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Jul 22, 14

bookshelves: fiction, own, for-school, just-like-a-woman, the-power-of-love, women-writers, in-a-land-far-away, if-you-liked-the-movie, hey-shorty, surreality
Recommended for: romantics, women, fans of magical realism
Read in January, 2002

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!
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message 1: by Kelly (last edited May 29, 2007 10:02AM) (new)

Kelly I am not going to lie, I thought this book would be terrible. I've picked it up a few times, almost against my will, and just hated myself for doing it. Because it /sounded/ like such awful tripe. (Not that I'm not guilty of reading tripe, but if I'm going to read it, I know what I like. :))

However, I know you'd call a spade a spade if it was, so it must not be. I'll try not to put it down next time. I've been looking for another magical realist to like after my Marquez spree.


Taylor K. it's definitely sappy and romantic, but consider this the fine wine of sappy and romantic novels. there actually is some literary worth to this, unlike Esquivel's contemporaries. Esquivel was actually one of the early adopters of magical realism.


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