This is a near-perfect example of the seamless blending of genres - a romance and a cookbook. I pulled my hair in frustration with the main character's circumstances - everything seemed completely out of control; yet she perseveres, she makes the best of a bad situation and gives her love in a whole different kind of oral pleasure - food.
The fate of her poor sister struck me as one of the saddest things I've read. Recommended for foodies, for lovers of complex romance, and for anyone who appreciates a complex, family fiction story.
Enjoyed this very much. Came to it from seeing the movie. Loved the recipes in the movie (one of the cooking genre that includes Babette's Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman) and in the book. A really good read.
This style of writing was new to me, yet I longed for more after I was finished. Well developed characters. You will laugh, hold your breathe, and cry. Take a chance on this book, and you will not be disappointed.
A novel, made to read one section each month. With tall-tales, fairy-tails, soap-opera romances, Mexican cookbook and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one.
Savory, tasteful, and satisfying.
... Side Note: If you liked or loved this book then you'll scream-out in shear pleasure over her other bok "The Law Of Love" which comes with visually stunning illustrations and also provides and auditory experience as well as it comes with a music CD.
I had forgotten how much fun this book might be. Years ago I saw and enjoyed the movie but had not yet read the book written by Esquivel. The movie won ten awards. Unique in its approach, this is the story of a passionate love affair between Tita and Pedro. Thwarted by Mama Elena, her mother, Tita pours all the love she has into her cooking. It is traditional, her mother says, that the youngest daughter stay unmarried to take care of her mother until she dies. To assure that Pedro is unattainable she bullies him into marrying her daughter, Rosaura. However, with the emotion Tita pours into her culinary creations, strange events occur. Guests at the wedding of Pedro and Rosaura experience food poisoning, a sister runs stark naked into the community and is taken by a revolutionary officer on his horse and they both ride away, and when Rosaura and Pedro's daughter, Esperanza, is married the guests become most amourous and leave the wedding early. Truly enjoyed this story and recommend it to anyone who enjoys strange occurrences, ghosts, and visions as created by this talented Mexican author.
I normally don't read romantic stories like this. Ok, maybe I do, but I'm afraid to admit it. I just did. I have to say the way each chapter started with a recipe and then blended into the chapter seamlessly was amazing and kept me intrigued all the way through.
I read this for a class, but it was more than homework. I really enjoyed it.
I love, love, love this book! I've re-read it probably five times. I can't help but get sucked into the tragic love story, and it's a wonderful translation from the Spanish - much more accessible than, say, Love in the Time of Cholera.
Tita is the youngest of three daughters, living on her tyrant mother's farm in Mexico. As tradition dictates, Tita will never marry, but must care for her mother until she dies. This seems all the more unfair when Tita falls in love. Knowing that she cannot break tradition, her love marries her ugly, fat, undesirable sister, Rosaura, in an attempt to be near Tita, the girl he really loves. When eldest sister, Gertrudis, bucks tradition for her own love, Tita's world suddenly seems less black and white than ever before.
I think that I was the only one who never saw the film version of this book. I was more intrigued with how they wove the recipes and food into the book and also with the installment quality that it had. This book is racy, but tame compared to many trashy beach novels. It was an okay read, I suppose, but I wouldn't give it a standing ovation. I must say I'd rather not see the film if it's the same as or worse than the graphic portions of the novel.
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.
Had to read this for a literature course at Salve Regina University. Great book about, God, I'm gonna say Mexico...but it's been a while. Fascinating literary analogies and provides a true insight into Mexico's past.
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The unusual title expresses the idea that true passion boils with the intensity of water for (hot)chocolate. Each chapter begins with a recipe that the main character learns from her grandmother, but the underlying theme is the sensuousness of good food and its preparation which is a metaphor for good love and its preparation. I would describe this as the most passionate story (without explicitness or tawdriness) that has been written. The story follows the life of a Mexican girl into adulthood and love. Ladies, READ THIS BOOK.
I had seen the movie but the book was even better. What a great love story and the ending was so powerful I cried more reading it and I already knew what would happen. have seen movie since and it was even better after I read the book. the recipes are good too but you must know metric measures to make them and some seem very huge.
R. S. reviewed Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) on
Equal parts fairly tale, Harlequin romance and cookbook. This unique book is a quick, read and highly enjoyable. I bet the heroine, Tita, will stay with a lot of women long after they've put this book down.
I know this was a best seller and got all sorts of great reviews, but I didn't get it. Maybe I am incredibly shallow and didn't pick up on the underlying themes. But some of the recipes sounded interesting, although pretty much out of my culinary league.
OurMissBooks - reviewed Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) on
I did enjoy this book and found it intriguing, which means I'm not sure I understood all of it. Parts of it seemed somewhat surreal or perhaps impressionistic because it described events that just didn't sound like they could happen in real life. I think the author was trying to convey more emotion and passion than literal description in this story of two people who, though in love with each other, are kept apart for most of their lives. Each chapter includes a recipe, with much of the activity centering around the kitchen and cooking terms used to describe those emotions and passions. Overall, I'd recommend it.
Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel's Like water for chocolate is a light, quick read. Tita, the youngest daughter, is bound by tradition to stay single and take care of her mother in her old age. When Pedro falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage, Tita's mother suggests that an older sister is available instead. To be near his true love, Pedro marries the sister. Tita, a wonderful cook, prepares meals that with effects tinged with magical realism as the love triangle progresses. Subtitled as "a novel in monthly installments, with recipes, romances, and home remedies," the story arc is pretty easy to follow, although some of the characters are not. This was a whimsical debut novel on the list of 1001 books you must read before you die.
I really enjoyed this book, which combined realism with more "magical" or surreal elements. I especially liked how each chapter began with a recipe, and the book ties these recipes to the happenings in the characters' lives.
A fantastic work of magical realism. A story of romance and the traditional family in Mexico at the turn of the century. While women in the story have little "real" power, they make all sorts of magic through their cooking and the dark, domestic arts!
Charming interpretation of life in the turn-of-the-century Mexico. "Part fantasy, part cookbook, part comedy and wholly romantic, "Like Water for Chocolate" is a savory recipe to enjoy." Johnny Depp starred in the movie adaptation.
Matthew S. reviewed Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) on
I'm obviously not the intended audience for Like Water for Chocolate (23 years old, white, and male), but I also like to think that I'm a pretty indiscriminate reader. As long as the writing is good, the characters believable, and the story interesting, I can find something to enjoy in just about anything. With that being said, I cannot recommend this book. There's far too much magic and not nearly enough realism.
From Publishers Weekly:
Each chapter of screenwriter Esquivel's utterly charming interpretation of life in turn-of-the-century Mexico begins with a recipe--not surprisingly, since so much of the action of this exquisite first novel (a bestseller in Mexico) centers around the kitchen, the heart and soul of a traditional Mexican family. The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita's sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place. But Tita has one weapon left--her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita's contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. Forced to make the cake for her sister's wedding, Tita pours her emotions into the task; each guest who samples a piece bursts into tears. Esquivel does a splendid job of describing the frustration, love and hope expressed through the most domestic and feminine of arts, family cooking, suggesting by implication the limited options available to Mexican women of this period. Tita's unrequited love for Pedro survives the Mexican Revolution the births of Rosaura and Pedro's children, even a proposal of marriage from an eligible doctor. In a poignant conclusion, Tita manages to break the bonds of tradition, if not for herself, then for future generations.