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Like Water for Chocolate
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1001 book reviews > Like Water for Chocolate - Laura Esquivel

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Karen | 258 comments 4 stars.

Tita, as the youngest daughter of a Mexican family, is condemned by family tradition to remain unmarried to look after her mother. Forbidden to marry Pedro, the man she loves, he marries her sister to stay close to her. The novel plays out over 20+ years as the results of that decision play out.

I hate cooking with a passion and was a little bit nervous when this book came up on my TBR challenge. It is quite unusual in it's format as it features recipes as well as the story, and food is used in interesting ways by the author, as the dishes the main character serves are influenced by her emotions at the time - for example, the guests getting food poisoning at the wedding of Pedro and her sister, because of her own unhappiness at the event.

Magical realism is not my favourite type of writing but it seemed to fit well with the story being told. My main issue with the story is that Pedro was not really developed as a character and I am not convinced he deserved the love Tita had for him.

I can definitely see myself reading this book again.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
Read 2011:
Genre: Magical Realism
The story of this Mexican family is set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution (1910-17). It has 12 chapters and 12 recipes. Each chapter is for a month starting with January and going in order to December and each month features a traditional Mexican recipe. The story is told through the women of the De La Garza family. The men in the book have only minor roles. The main relationship is between Tita (daughter) and her mother Mama Elena. Perhaps this relationship is a picture of the relationship of Mexico's people and their struggle for freedom.


Diane Zwang | 1248 comments Mod
5 stars for me. Read in 2013.

Lovely story written in monthly installments and recipes. I liked that food played a central theme in the story almost like a character. I enjoyed this coming of age story about Tita and her sisters. It was filled with emotions: love, hate, anger, jealousy, passion. What a delicious story.


Jessica | 73 comments I didn't really want to read this book. And the library didn't make it any easier for me. Apparently, it is not very popular in the Netherlands and that is such a shame.

I hate sappy romance and I never learned to find pleasure in cooking either. Yet, I am glad that I didn't want to break my reading spree here and gave this story a try.

This book has much more to offer than a recipe for disaster (yes pun intended) . It completely played with all my expectations, multiple times even in the last chapter leading to tears flowing over my face despite myself? True catharsis. Therefore quite deservedly included in the 1001 books-list.


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