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Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies [Paperback]

Laura Esquivel
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (381 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1995
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.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Each chapter of screenwriter Esquivel's utterly charming interpretation of life in turn-of-the-century Mexico begins with a recipe--not surprisingly, since so much of the action of this exquisite first novel (a bestseller in Mexico) centers around the kitchen, the heart and soul of a traditional Mexican family. The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita's sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place. But Tita has one weapon left--her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita's contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. Forced to make the cake for her sister's wedding, Tita pours her emotions into the task; each guest who samples a piece bursts into tears. Esquivel does a splendid job of describing the frustration, love and hope expressed through the most domestic and feminine of arts, family cooking, suggesting by implication the limited options available to Mexican women of this period. Tita's unrequited love for Pedro survives the Mexican Revolution the births of Rosaura and Pedro's children, even a proposal of marriage from an eligible doctor. In a poignant conclusion, Tita manages to break the bonds of tradition, if not for herself, then for future generations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Like Water For Chocolate, a poignant love story told from a woman's point of view, takes place on the De la Garza ranch in turn-of-the-century Mexico. Cooking and eating play a central role in the tale. The heroine, Tita, a master chef, was literally born in the kitchen. Following tradition, her tyrannical mother decrees that Tita as the youngest must not marry but must instead care for her mother in old age. Unable to communicate freely, Tita concocts recipes so magically potent as to convey her emotions to all who eat her creations- even the chickens-with often hilarious results. Narrator Yareli Arizmendi, who stars in the hit film of this title, puts in a powerful performance. This audiobook will find a large, enthusiastic audience in public libraries.
James Dudley, Copiague, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE April 1 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is very detailed and intense that caught my eye from the moment I read the first chapter. Basically its about Tita-the youngest daughter of three. Who by family tradition is forced to take care of her mother (mama Elena) until she has die, and forget her true love (Pedro). Pedro then marries Tita's oldest sister (Rosaura) so that he can be next to Tita. The only thing that keeps her strong is her talent. She was born with the talent for cooking. Which is one of the reasons why every chapter starts off with a recipe. She based all her emotions in her cooking.
The one thing I disliked about this novel would have to be how it goes on and on about the recipes. I like how every chapter starts off with a recipe, but maybe if it was a little shorter I would read the whole thing through. Most of the time I would just read the first sentences and then just skip to the rest of the chapter. Another thing I disliked would be the Rosaura, she plays the character of Tita's sister. She's so greedy, she knows that Tita loves pedro and still she decides to marry him. Not even thinking how her sister feels.
The character that made me want to keep reading this book and that caught my eye was Tita. Despite her family tradition and knowing that she would probably never marry, she still remained strong. Also when she wasn't taking of her mom she would spend most of the time in the kitchen. She devoted herself to the kitchen. She struggled a lot with her mom but it all turned out for the best at the end. Its kind of like a happily ever after story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a feast of the 5 senses, come to life June 12 2004
By Beepsie
Format:Paperback
besides the excellent recipes wholly printed in the book version, here is my review of the movie, which is not as detailed nor able to be prolonged but is true to the book (unlike other movie versions of books in which some stuff is changed):
after you watch this movie, you will either want to eat, cook (preferably one of the mentioned recipes), make love or all three! i saw the version dubbed in spanish, and also read 3 selected chapters from the book, for spanish class. it's a work of art and genius, and it must be watched all the way through without stopping. the characters are excellently portrayed, and it combines love, feminism, drama, sensuality, lust, hope, passion, and humour, topped with cultural tradition and folklore. i don't know which one is better, the book or the movie. all of the 5 senses are provoked on a deep and perhaps even primal level, especially taste and smell, feverishly yearning for a sum greater than their overall parts (gestalt) - which brings up the sixth sense, intuition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book To Read May 26 2004
By blt
Format:Paperback
Like Water For Chocolate is a good book to read because of the unique way of story telling. The characters in the book are very interesting. Tita is the youngest child of her family and tradition has it that she may not marry and that her duty is to take care of her mother until she dies. Tita falls in love with a young man in her local community, but can't stand the fact that she cannot do any thing about it. Titas mother (Elena) a very religious person who is very strict about following religious believes and following all the rules and traditions, prohibits Tita to see or have relations with Pedro the man of her dreams. The story takes the character Tita through many difficult struggles, and hard decisions. The story has many twist and turns and the ending has a more significant meaning than other stories. Furthermore I though the writing was well done with good understanding by the narrator. I thought It was a clever and brilliant idea to include a recipe of a food item described in that chapter for every chapter, not only that but the chapters are organized by the mouths in a year, from chapter 1 (January) to chapter 12 (December). The author does a great job incorporating the mouth and recipe into each chapter. Another notable aspect of this book is the use of magical realism or exaggerated symbolism. There are many examples of this throughout the whole book. The ending of the story also incorporates the use of magical realism. Overall this is a great book that you can come to enjoy and appreciate. I strongly recommend this book for a good relaxing afternoon reading.
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Format:Paperback
The story, "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel, is by far one of the best novels I have ever read. It is a novel that appeals to all of the five human senses, which makes you want to read the story from beginning to end without putting it down.
The author, Laura Esquivel, now lives in Mexico. She was originally a screenwriter. Her screenplay "Chido One" is the film version of "Like Water for Chocolate," which is also very excellent. In 1994, this book won the prestigious ABBY award, which is given by the American Booksellers Association to the book the members of the association enjoyed the most.
What makes this book great is that you not only get to read an exciting story, but you also learn how to cook. At the beginning of every chapter there is a new recipe to be made. All of the ingredients are listed and the preparation is given along with the story. Since this book is written in monthly installments, there are exactly twelve recipes; one for each month.
This book is filled with magical realism. Almost everything in the story is symbolic and full of emotion, especially the food. My mother always told me that, "the food comes out better when you're happy." "Like Water for Chocolate" portrays this saying, but with so much more. Not only happiness, but anger, love, passion, lust, and depression goes into the food, which cause the people who eat it to do some crazy things.
Like I said before, this book appeals to all of the five senses. Everything is told in such detail that you can easily imagine yourself being in the story. You can imagine yourself being there with the characters, seeing what they see, hearing what they hear, feeling what they feel, smelling what they smell, and tasting every piece of food that they eat. It is truly an amazing experience and I recommend this book to everyone.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting story but couldn't quite get into the folklore-fantasty parts.
Published 1 month ago by Michelle Symington
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and delicious
One of my favorite books of all times! When I immigrated, I left my well-worn, dog-eared copy of this in my home country. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Claudia C.
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd story but a good read
Good story, although a little on the unbelievable side. But I couldn't put it down nonetheless. Good poolside read while I was on vacation.
Published 6 months ago by KMM
4.0 out of 5 stars Original!
This novel innovates in many ways. It is highly structured, each chapter being set in a given month. Read more
Published on March 12 2011 by Pierre Gauthier
5.0 out of 5 stars Charm And Quirkiness
The title of the book offers a fitting and versatile metaphor for the book. In Spanish, como aqua para chocolate, refers to the passions, sexual or anger, that boil over. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2008 by Douglas P. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Water and Chocolate-easy to swallow
Like Water for Chocolate combines a mystical tale of family legend and lost love with intriguing recipes and stories of Tita's life and love. Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Kristen Novak
3.0 out of 5 stars if you're looking for romance sided with food read this book
The writer takes you into a both harsh and warm family life in Mexico with restrictions upon females and secret relationships,
the literature first appears as exagerated,but... Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by parniyan
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Water for Chocolate
This novel brought forth an odd perspective of the affect food and family can have on all of our lives. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by jenn lagosz
4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs chausse's class
Like water for Chocolate is a wonderful novel focused around magical realism and true love. Esquivel creativly interweaves the emotions of Tita with her wonderful food. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by bessie bianco
4.0 out of 5 stars like water for chocolate
Like Water For Chocolate is a great book for all groups of people. If you like romance, and mystical novels this is the book for you. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by amanda cruz
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