Rosamund's Reviews > Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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's review
Jun 29, 2008

liked it
Read in June, 2008

I'd say I enjoyed this. At first I thought the translation was dodgy - after all, how can you match up English, the thief of the language world, to Spanish, the tongue of sensuality? I actually found myself wanting to punch Mama Elena at times, which shows a creation of a good character, I suppose. There were little surreal twists every so often, which I liked. The ending was weird, but satisfying. But I have to say my eyes skimmed over the recipe parts - reading about how to castrate a turkey is not my biggest wish, thank you very much.

Here is a (rather long) quote that I really liked from the book, that nobody will read, but nevertheless:

"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside of us but we can't strike them all by ourselves; just as in the experiment, 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 could 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 lit.
"If that happens, the soul flees from the bost and goes to wander among the deepest shades, trying in vain to find food to nourish itself, unaware that only the body it left behind, cold and defenceless, is capable of providing that food."
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