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Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate

Paperback Language: English / Spanish

By (author) Laura Esquivel

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Language: English / Spanish
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 20mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 18 October 1996
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552995878
  • ISBN 13: 9780552995870
  • Sales rank: 7,439

Product description

The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, "Like Water For Chocolate" is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes. A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years, Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

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Author information

Laura Esquivel is one of Mexico's most celebrated writers. She now divides her time between Mexico City and New York. Originally a screenwriter, she wrote the script for the award-winning film of her first book, Like Water for Chocolate. Her other novels are Swift as Desire, The Law of Love and Malinche.

Review quote

"This magical, mythical, moving story of love, sacrifice and simmering sensuality is something I shall savour for a long time" -- Maureen Lipman "It's a joy... it has an energetic charm that's quite impossible to resist" Literary Review "If originality, a compelling tale and an adventure in the kitchen are what you crave, Like Water For Chocolate serves up the full helping" -- Carla Matthews San Francisco Chronicle "A wondrous, romantic tale, fuelled by mystery and superstitition as well as by the recipes that introduce each chapter" Los Angeles Times "Exuberant... for those who like their wines full-bodied and their meals rich and zesty... earthly secrets of strength, suffering, passion and cooking in a humorous and well-drawn portrait of a woman who loves as well as she cooks" Washington Post

Editorial reviews

A first novel ("the number one bestseller in Mexico in 1990") - liberally sprinkled with recipes and homemade remedies - from screenwriter Esquivel. Set in turn-of-the-century Mexico, it tells the romantic tale of Tits De La Garza, the youngest of Mama Elena's three daughters, whine fate, dictated by family tradition, is to remain single so that she can take care of her mother in her old age. Tita has grown up under the tutelage of the spinster cook Nacha and has learned all the family recipes and remedies. When Pedro, Tita's admirer, asks for Tita's hand in marriage, her mother refuses permission, offering instead Tita's older sister, Rosaura. Pedro accepts, thinking it will be a way to stay close to his one true love. But Tits doesn't know his thinking and, crushed by what she sees as betrayal, she must make the wedding cake. Crying as she bakes, her tears mingle with the ingredients and unleash a wave of longing in everyone who eats a piece. It is just the beginning of the realization that Tits has special talents, both in the kitchen and beyond. As we witness the nurturing Tita's struggle to be true both to family tradition and to her own heart, we are steeped in elaborate recipes for dishes such as turkey mole with almonds and sesame seeds or quail with rose petals, in medicinal concoctions for ailments such as bad breath and gas, and in instructions on how to make ink or matches. Eventually, Tita must choose between marrying a loving, devoted doctor or saving herself for Pedro, her first true love. Her choice is revealed in a surprise last chapter. Playful in its flirtation with magical realism and engaging in its folkloric earthiness but, nonetheless, light, romantic fare. (Kirkus Reviews)