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Friday, December 29, 2017

#Book #Review: 5 out of 5 stars for Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel #LauraEsquivel @VintageAnchor

AUTHOR: Laura Esquivel
TRANSLATORS: Thomas Christensen and Carol Christensen
PUBLISHER: Anchor
PUBLICATION DATE: October 1, 1995 (first published 1989)
FORMAT: Paperback
LENGTH: 246 pages
GENRE: Romance, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9780385420174
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.

MY REVIEW:

I have wanted to read this book for years but, with the strong element of romance, I just wasn't sure if it was something for me so I kept putting it off. I was so wrong! I absolutely LOVED this book!!

The story features the De La Garza family in Mexico, who own a ranch. Mama Elena lives there with her three daughters: Rosaura, Gertrudis, and Tita. Two days after the birth of the youngest child, Tita, Elena's husband dies of a heart attack. As a result, Elena's milk dries up from the shock of it and Tita is left in the hands of the cook, Nacha, to be cared for. Always being around Nacha in the kitchen, Tita learns the ways of cooking and baking and is the only one who learns the family's recipes. As a mom, I simply cannot understand Elena and how she could be so cold and indifferent towards her children! She is cruel and does not form any bond whatsoever to any of her children.

A young man, Pedro, falls in love with Tita (age 15). He goes to the De La Garza household with his father to ask Elena for her daughter's hand in marriage, and Elena tells them that as the youngest daughter it is her family's tradition that Tita care for her mother until her dying breath and that she is unable to marry. However, Pedro is free to marry 17-year-old Rosaura if he so desires. Pedro agrees to marry Rosaura, not because he loves her but so that he can remain close to Tita.

The story is told in 12 chapters, one for each month of the year. Each month features a recipe that is integral to that part of the story. I loved how Tita's emotions became infused into her cooking, which added a mystical aspect to the story. The unrequited love between Pedro and Tita is so heartbreakingly sad, and my heart ached for them. I was rooting for them all the way, and their passion for each other is so intense and just leaps off the page. I also just loved Gertrudis' story, and it was brilliant how the author explained the reason why Gertrudis was the way that she was! Sorry to be so vague, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone. The author even manages to make me feel a bit sympathetic towards Elena, despite my loathing of her!

I devoured this book, and the ending is so bittersweet. I went through a whole range of emotions, and I'm definitely planning to read this one again!

MY RATING:

5 stars!! It was superb, and I will likely re-read it in the future. You should definitely read it if you enjoy romances.

This book qualifies as:

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read the book but I loved the movie when I saw it.

    ReplyDelete

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