Robin's Reviews > Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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Feb 06, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: cultural-studies
Read in February, 2009

Food, love, sex combined as literary theme always intrigues me. Using a variety of Mexican homestyle recipes, Esquivel begins each chapter with a list of ingredients. One must read the chapter carefully for preparation instructions, extra ingredients, etc. as the plot is intricately woven into the recipe. I am not sure how well these recipes can be made without some experience in a Mexican kitchen during the early 20th century, which makes the plot and characters wrap around the recipes all the more deliciously.

The novel takes place during the Mexican Revolution. Tita, the most unloved of three daughters living with the ill-tempered and domineering Mama Elena, is relegated to the kitchen, where she learns the power and magic of both the foods themselves and the emotions experienced while cooking them. The results when the meals are served are humorous, sexy, and teeter on the brink of believability before toppling into the realm of pure fiction. Throughout, a love story is told that is never predictable or straightforward. The ending is certainly not what I expected, more like a bit of Mexican folklore, as indeed is much of this very digestible read.
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