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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 (379 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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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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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 Original! March 12 2011
By Pierre Gauthier TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This novel innovates in many ways. It is highly structured, each chapter being set in a given month. Each is introduced with a recipe for a dish that plays a role or another in the story's development. Though realistic overall, the plot sometimes snaps in the world of dreams with ghosts appearing or volcanoes erupting. All this creates a series of surprises and makes the book very enjoyable.

In addition, set in early 20th century Mexico, it provides insights to the mentality and way of life that prevailed in the area at that time.

The work is thus at once light and substantial and is warmly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Odd story but a good read March 9 2014
By KMM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Summary in exactly than 50 words: A trashy romance novel with gratuitous and badly integrated recipes. Fantastical elements thrown in for the hell of it. Terrible in Spanish, horrible and cliched in English. Esta novela es para el "circular file." Only read it if your Spanish and or English professor forces you to. Save your money
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charm And Quirkiness Dec 14 2008
Format:Paperback
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. Chocolate only melts with boiling water. Mama Elena, the domineering, controlling force of a hacienda in Mexico, suppresses her daughters but particualarly Tita De La Garza, the central character who is not allowed to "reach the boiling point" of her passions, particularly with respect to Pedro Musquiz to whom she has a passionate attachment reciprocated by him. Mama Elena forces Tita into spinsterhood so that Tita can take care of her mother as she ages. To be close to Tita, Pedro marries her sister, Rosaura. The adventures spin off from there and there is a magical element to many of them, including the exceptional recipes that Tita uses for the residents and guests of the hacienda. The book is well-written and deserves its international fame.Translator's KissSimply Irresistible (Widescreen)
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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 27 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Water and Chocolate-easy to swallow May 12 2004
Format:Paperback
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. Laura Esquivel tells the story of Tita through the narrator, Tita's great-niece, and by choosing to divide the chapters into monthly increments, each with a recipe that corresponds to that chapter, she created a book that was not only easy to read, but very hard to put down. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys tales of family, love, growing up, and learning to be your own person while still remaining a part of your past and your heritage. The book was very entertaining and both avid readers and the inexperienced, young and old, male and female would find it a pleasure to read.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 11 2004 by parniyan
5.0 out of 5 stars What's better than a book about food? (oh but so much more!)
The story, "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel, is by far one of the best novels I have ever read. Read more
Published on May 5 2004 by Andrea Guarisco
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Like water for chocolate
I think that this book was one of the funniest books that I have read. If you like fantasy this is the book for you, it has a lot of magical realism in it. Read more
Published on April 29 2004 by adriana mendoza
5.0 out of 5 stars Like water for chocolate
I think that this book was one of the funniest books that I have read. If you like fantasy this is the book for you, it has a lot of magical realism in it. Read more
Published on April 29 2004 by adriana mendoza
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