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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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Like Water for Chocolate (original 1989; edition 1995)

by Laura Esquivel, Thomas Christensen (Translator), Carol Christensen (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,689196349 (3.86)435
Member:marinajuric
Title:Like Water for Chocolate
Authors:Laura Esquivel
Other authors:Thomas Christensen (Translator), Carol Christensen (Translator)
Info:Perfection Learning (1995), Hardcover
Collections:Read but unowned, Read in 2011
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (1989)

Recently added byerslaymaker, sandrikoti, private library, pprocko115, Mingomadness24, KathyTubb, Satur, alo1224
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» See also 435 mentions

English (173)  Spanish (12)  Dutch (5)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
I liked this even better than the movie. Has that Latin flair for the melodrama that is somehow also happy and magical. Loved the recipes and results of the cooking. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
From way outside my usual reading fields, this is my first experience of magic realism, set in revolutionary mexico. I'm glad I read it, but I doubt I will need to read too many more books in this genre.
March 2016 ( )
  mbmackay | Mar 16, 2016 |
Each of us is attracted to certain things in movies, books and sorts of entertainment. We already established that I'm hopelessly romantic, add another fact dear readers, I love anything with food or dancing.

So while searching for a list of movies with food, I found a magical realism movie called "Like Water for Chocolate", I ate it up. What made me want to read the book is Stephanie Perkins's "Anna and the French Kiss". I ordered two books of the books mentioned in this novel.

Today, I received my copy of the book, it's much smaller than I thought, with the movie so long and all that. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Each of us is attracted to certain things in movies, books and sorts of entertainment. We already established that I'm hopelessly romantic, add another fact dear readers, I love anything with food or dancing.

So while searching for a list of movies with food, I found a magical realism movie called "Like Water for Chocolate", I ate it up. What made me want to read the book is Stephanie Perkins's "Anna and the French Kiss". I ordered two books of the books mentioned in this novel.

Today, I received my copy of the book, it's much smaller than I thought, with the movie so long and all that.
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
The book is divided into twelve sections named after the months of the year. Each section begins with a recipe of some sort, involving Mexican foods. The chapters outline the preparation of the dish and ties it to an event in the protagonist's life.[7]

Young Tita de la Garza, the novel's protagonist, is fifteen at the start of the events in the story, which take place in the era of the Mexican Revolution. She lives with her iron-fisted mother, Mama Elena, and her older sisters Gertrudis and Rosaura, on a ranch near the Mexico-US border.

Tita's admirer, Pedro, comes to ask for her hand in marriage, but Mama Elena forbids it on the grounds of the De la Garza family tradition, which demands that the youngest daughter (in this case Tita) must remain unmarried and take care of her mother until death. Pedro then reluctantly marries Tita's older sister Rosaura instead, and a distraught Tita can hardly keep from being grieved, even though Pedro maintains it is Tita he loves and not Rosaura, and that he only married Rosaura to be closer to Tita.

Tita has a love of the kitchen and a sharp connection with food of any sort, a skill her sisters lack. Tita unconsciously begins to use the power of food to draw Pedro away from Rosaura, with the rest of the family and hired help becoming pawns in the scheme.

As the story unfolds, Pedro begins to fall under the developing spell of romance caused by Tita's kitchen skills. It is also important to note that Rosaura's cooking skills are poor, and this makes Pedro even more unattracted to her, as he barely wanted to consummate their marriage to begin with. But side effects do result, as when Rosaura and Pedro are forced to leave for San Antonio, Texas, at the urging of Mama Elena, who is firmly against a relationship between Tita and Pedro, and Rosaura loses her son Roberto and is later made sterile after complications with the birth of daughter Esperanza. Meanwhile, Tita's elder sister Gertrudis accidentally becomes affected by Tita's culinary delights and leaves the ranch naked with a revolutionary soldier (though she returns as the head of a revolutionary army).

Upon learning the news of her nephew's death, whom she cared for herself, Tita blames her mother; Mama Elena responds by beating Tita furiously with a wooden spoon. Tita, not wanting to cope with her mother's controlling ways, secludes herself in a dovecote until the sympathetic Dr. John Brown reasons her to come down. Mama Elena clearly states that there is no place for "lunatics" like Tita on the farm, and wants her to be institutionalized. However, the Doctor decides to take care of Tita at his home instead. Tita eventually enters into a relationship with Dr. Brown, even planning to marry him at one point, but she cannot shake her feelings for Pedro.

After the removal of all obstacles to the relationship between Tita and Pedro, the lovers finally share a night of bliss that is so heated and passionate that Pedro actually dies while making love to Tita. Upset that Pedro dies while she lives, leaving her alone in the world, Tita proceeds to consume candles whilst thinking of his face. The matches are sparked by the heat of his memory, creating a fire that engulfs them both, leading to their deaths in union and the total destruction of the ranch. The narrator of the story is the daughter of Esperanza. Esperanza is Tita's niece and Rosaura and Pedro's daughter, and Dr. Brown's son, Alex, will marry her at the conclusion of the story. The narrator then says that all that was found under the smoldering rubble of the ranch was Tita's cookbook, which contained all the recipes described in the preceding chapters.[8]

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Esquivelprimary 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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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid.
Dedication
First words
Take care to chop the onion fine.
Quotations
"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”.
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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 7 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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