Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura EsquivelLike Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Thomas Christensen, Carol Christensen
Published by Anchor on October 1, 1995
Genres: Magical Realism
Pages: 246
Source: A fellow book blogger sent me this book!
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four-half-stars

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 number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, "Like Water For Chocolate" is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes.
A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years, Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

Like Water for Chocolate had been sitting on my shelf for over two years (I won a copy of it from Wendy during a Literary Giveaway Blog Hop). I read it during Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, but I wish I’d gotten around to it sooner.

Everything was so vivid! I could see and smell and taste the details—the setting, the clothes, the food. (Oh my gosh, the food. Each chapter starts with a recipe!). All of my senses were on alert while reading. And I really felt for these characters. I don’t like romances but you know, this one was okay, because it wasn’t only a love story. It showcased some of the strongest female characters I’ve read; women who fought cultural norms they couldn’t escape (or making peace with the fallout from escaping it).

There is some magical realism (swoon) but it’s kind of tied up in a touch of science history, too. Interesting mix. I really enjoyed this little book. Super fast read, but an unforgettable story.

four-half-stars