Like Water for Chocolate
A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
The bestselling phenomenon and inspiration for the award-winning film.
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico blends poignant romance and bittersweet wit.
This 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, using cooking to express herself and sharing recipes with readers along the way.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A Flavorful Fantasy
Like Water for Chocolate is a tasty tale of magic and love set in turn-of-the-century Mexico.
Tita lives on her family’s ranch with her mother and sisters. On this ranch, Tita is in charge of taking care of her mother because of a family tradition requiring the youngest daughter to care for her mother until she dies. This rule is a source of conflict which causes Tita to drift away from her family. The distance between the members of the family begin when Pedro, Tita’s true love, comes to the ranch with his father to ask for Tita's hand in marriage. Mama Elena (Tita’s mother) denies Pedro, since Tita’s family duty forbids her to marry, but offers another one of her daughters. Pedro agrees to marry Tita’s sister Rosaura so he can stay close to Tita. Naturally, this causes a feud between Tita and Mama Elena and Rosaura all revolving around Pedro. Esquivel uses Pedro to constantly create conflict between all of the characters in the book.
In addition to dealing with the complexities of familial love and responsibility, this novel explores the importance of food and the kitchen in human relationships. In many families food is an expression of love and care. In this magical realism novel, Laura Esquivel turns food into a more literal transmitter of various emotions and feelings. Through Tita and her magical connection to the intricate dishes she prepares, her emotions are experienced by those who consume her culinary creations. For those she loves her food is some of the best in the world bringing joy and comfort. However, to the people in Tita’s life who cause her discomfort, her food is representation of her negative emotions and may even be poisonous. While Tita is preparing a wedding cake for her sister, she cries and her tears dilute the cake’s frosting. This cake causes everyone including those who she loves to be longing for something because that is how she felt. An example of her food bringing joy and nourishment is when Roberto, her nephew, needs breast milk and Tita is the only person that can provide the breast milk for him even though she was never pregnant.
One of the few issues I found while reading this book was that Tita’s magical powers were not clearly defined,and were developing even to the end when she eats candles to create an artificial fire. Also bothersome is that although Esquivel provides a basic setting of 20th century Mexico, she does not elaborate about historical events going on or even where in Mexico the family’s ranch is located. Even with its flaws, Esquivel shows how brilliant a writer she is by her use of vivid imagery to develop a better understanding of the role of food and magic play towards the novel’s theme. With each chapter, she takes the audience on a journey of changing mood through Tita’s character, making this story hard to put down. This book was an easy and fun read that included complex ideas and hidden meanings which add depth to the novel. I would recommend this book to those looking for a different and unique reading or those who enjoy magic and fantasy.
Magical, passionate, and full of surprises!
This has become my favorite book to read! I will forever have a place in my heart for Tita and Gertrudis!!
One of me and my grandmas favorite book I read it once when I was 10 and I haven't stopped reading it now that I'm 20 , I have Tita in my soul now :)