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Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
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Like Water For Chocolate (original 1989; edition 1994)

by Laura Esquivel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,203172382 (3.86)401
Member:MarilynD
Title:Like Water For Chocolate
Authors:Laura Esquivel
Info:Anchor (1994), Unknown Binding
Collections:no longer own, Read
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, Cooking

Work details

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (1989)

  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
    Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses by Isabel Allende (rhigueras)
  5. 21
    Chocolat by Joanne Harris (infiniteletters)
  6. 00
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: A breathtakingly rich masterpiece following 7 generations of the Buendía family in a fictional Colombian town bursting with magical realism.
  7. 00
    The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (DetailMuse)
  8. 00
    The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (DetailMuse)
  9. 00
    Lovesick by Angeles Mastretta (chrisharpe)
  10. 00
    The Flamenco Academy: A Novel by Sarah Bird (persky)
  11. 00
    The River Midnight by Lilian Nattel (starfishian)
  12. 00
    Magic Spells by Christy Yorke (infiniteletters)
  13. 00
    The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (starfishian)
  14. 01
    Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (Becchanalia)
  15. 01
    Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan (Becchanalia)
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» See also 401 mentions

English (153)  Spanish (11)  Dutch (4)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 153 (next | show all)
In turn-of-the-century Mexico, fifteen-year-old Josefita de la Garza - nicknamed Tita - lives on the family ranch with her mother Mama Elena, and her two older sisters - Rosaura and Gertrudis. According to family tradition, Tita - as the youngest daughter of an affluent rancher - must never marry but stay home and take care of her mother until she dies. For Tita, this family tradition is restricting and very old-fashioned - but as much as she hates it, Tita is still bound by that tradition. Instead, she turns all her pent-up desire toward cooking - expressing herself through the food that she prepares.

When Tita falls in love with her next door neighbor Pedro - and he with her - Tita's tyrannical mother steps in and invokes family tradition, denying Pedro's request for her youngest daughter's hand in marriage. Instead, Mama Elena offers Pedro the hand of her daughter Rosaura and, in order to stay close to Tita, Pedro accepts her offer. And so the story spans the next twenty-two years, detailing Tita and Pedro's unconsummated passion for each other; as well as their bittersweet and complicated romance.

I must say that I debated with myself whether or not to read this, but in the end I'm so glad that I chose to read it. Mareena had gotten the book for me as a 'just because' gift for July of 2012 - but having watched the 1992 movie with one of her friends a while ago - she wasn't too sure if I would actually want to read it. So, the book languished on my TBR pile for a little over two years.

I actually enjoyed this book very much. I found that the story was whimsical and almost fairytale-like in places. It was really quite captivating to me, and I give this book an A+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Dec 14, 2014 |
What a WONDERFUL book!!!! This is destined to become one of my favorite books -- the interplay of fact, fancy, fantasy, mystery of the human spirit, ecstasy, sorrow, sensuality and flavor makes it a very special book indeed. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
I have had this book on my TBR list for a few years. I don't know why I kept putting off reading this book.

I really enjoyed the stories being told with the different recipes for the different events in the lives of the De la Garza family. The birth of the youngest daughter Tita and how she is supposed to never get married. Since Tita is the youngest she has to stay and take care of her mother until she dies. Tita is denied true love.

This is the main story of Like Water for Chocolate. The recipes are interesting and how they can affect others due to the feelings of the person making the meals.
  crazy4reading | Sep 28, 2014 |
Tita's destiny as the youngest daughter is to never marry and always serve her mother until death. But the passion between Tita and Pedro cannot be hidden, even when he marries her sister. And with each recipe Tita cooks, we can see her emotions flowing through her food.

I love these types of recipe/story books. The description of food is mouth watering and I thought the book was interesting.

Okay, now I'm going to walk into slightly controversial grounds and say that this book made me think of stereotypes. Specifically, I felt like this book perpetuated Mexican stereotypes for me. But if the author herself is Mexican, then ought I treat it as true?
Situations like teenage pregnancies or running off with a man. Or how Pedro treated Tita, even though they were in love.
I'm not really sure, but a lot of little things bothered me and I would like more cultural understanding of Mexico and the ethos behind Esquivel before I make any real comments.

The dialogue was definitely lacking. This was a predominately tell, not show kind of book.

It was okay. I didn't really feel for any of the characters. The best part of the book was the incorporation of the recipes and the food.

2.5 stars because I thought it was a little better than okay. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
I am a big fan of magic realism so I was absolutely enthralled with this book of passion. What more perfect way to describe strong emotions than through food which stirs so much of our senses, fills us physically and emotionally and brings us together socially? Esquivel does a masterful job of using recipes to recount a tale of love and sorrow as the ingredients and feasts weave in and out of her stories. The exaggerated imagery is perfect to convey all those deep-seated emotions that we sometimes have such a hard time expressing.
A wonderful read which will resonate with me for a long time (and had me craving realy Mexican chocolate for days)! ( )
  Cecilturtle | Aug 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 153 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Esquivelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christensen, CarolTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christensen, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pernu, SannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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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”.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:36 -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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