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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate (1989)

by Laura Esquivel, Alfonso Arau

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,787216466 (3.85)491
  1. 50
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 10
    The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (ReadHanded)
    ReadHanded: Food, recipes, and magic realism
  3. 10
    Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai (MaidMeri)
    MaidMeri: Desai's book is a much, much lighter read, but like Esquivel's, full of trivial yet delightful details and sub-plots. Other similarities include cooking, being repressed by one's family and eccentric, strong female characters.
  4. 10
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    Becchanalia: A breathtakingly rich masterpiece following 7 generations of the Buendía family in a fictional Colombian town bursting with magical realism.

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» See also 491 mentions

English (194)  Spanish (13)  Dutch (5)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (216)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
This was really fun to read. It's sort of a Mexican folk tale that uses the relationship between cooking and emotions to tell the story of Tita. Tita is the youngest daughter of Mama Elena and is destined to take care of her mother for her whole life instead of marrying. When she falls in love with Pedro, Mama Elena prevents the marriage and Pedro marries Tita's sister, Rosaura instead. Each chapter has a different recipe and Tita's strong emotions influence her cooking and those who eat it.

I thought the whole thing was really entertaining to read: Mexican culture, recipes, passion, humor, and a bit of magic. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 8, 2019 |
Three stars because it was a quick read. Read it all today. No more stars because I really didn't get much from it. Not very memorable, plot is kind of ridiculous. If your mom is ruining your life that much just get the f out! ( )
  jill1121 | Jun 1, 2019 |
I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn't get past how spiteful the mother was to her daughter. Maybe I'll put it on my " Tragedies I will try to read again sometime in the future when my kids are all successfully launched" shelf ;) ( )
  Jandrew74 | May 26, 2019 |
A story about two shithead men fighting for the soul of a woman. The worse of the two appears to have no real feeling for her but sexual feelings, feels entitled to her from the time she is a young teenager, acts like a dangerous creep, and eventually rapes her. The other is a "gentleman" doctor who still lusts after her from the time she is a teenager and takes her into his home to groom her when she has a mental crisis. In the end she chooses the worse of the two and dies rather than live without him. And all this time I hoped this brilliant woman would be able to find a way to escape not only the clutches of her tyrannical mother, but also the tyrannical clutches of disgusting men. Alas.

Despite this the book is an entertaining and memorable read, so I cannot rate it any lower. ( )
  owen1218 | May 20, 2019 |
I think my age is showing because I wanted Tita to end up with John.

The characters, meh; I didn't really connect with any of them -- except maybe Esperanza and Alex who seemed to break their family's dysfunctional cycle, and their daughter, the story's narrator, who keeps who great-aunt Tita's memory alive through cooking from her cookbook.

But star-crossed lovers and the effects of toxic mothers are personal favorites in magical realism. I enjoyed the imagery of tears heavy enough to leave salt to live off for months, and the lingering scent of roses from an intoxicating meal...

I'm happy I finally read this one. ( )
  flying_monkeys | May 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Esquivelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arau, Alfonsomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, CarolTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christensen, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendelaar, FrancineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pernu, SannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peteri, HarriëtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toelke, CathleenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid.
First words
Take care to chop the onion fine.
"The truth! The truth! Look, Tita, the simple truth is that the truth does not exist; it all depends on a person's point of view."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The original Spanish title was “Como agua para chocolate”.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Tita can't marry
Pedro, so she cooks dishes
that tell of her love.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038542017X, Paperback)

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in tum-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:28 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

With more than two million copies in print, this beloved novel has become a treasured part of America's literary memory. Now, for the first time, this "tall-tale, fairy-tale, soap opera romance, Mexican cookbook, and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one" (San Francisco Chronicle) is available in trade paper with the original art from the hardcover.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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