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Like Water for Chocolate [Hardcover]

Laura Esquivel , Thomas Christensen , Carol Christensen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition 3.49  
Hardcover --  
Hardcover, 6 Oct 1998 --  
Paperback 5.59  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook 10.09  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

6 Oct 1998
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; First Edition First Printing edition (6 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385420161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385420167
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 672,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'A Novel in Monthly Instalments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies'.The international bestseller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Take care to chop the onion fine. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A foodie flight of fancy... 5 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of magical realism, having read a lot of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Joanne Harris, Louis de Bernieres and Isabel Allende, which is why I really thought I would love this book. And I did, up to a point. It is frivolous, fanciful and feminine, an exaggarated examination of the connection between our emotions, the food we eat and the people closest to us. As such, it is lovely. Esquivel does not hold back - The food is described almost as a living, mythical thing, and the process of making it is more like alchemy than cookery. Her principle is that in cooking a meal you have a venue through which your emotions are concentrated and expressed - Sadness, anger, jealousy, lust and of course, love, the ultimate goal. The recipes are mouthwatering, the characters are vivid and the atmosphere is intense and infectous.

But I still found myself closing the book with reservations. First of all, I found the language a little naive and simple at times, but this might be down to whatever was lost in translation. What bothered me more was the idea of this eternal hunt for love, which I found rather old-fashioned, and I did not connect with it. This might be because 'love' seemed to equate 'marriage', and also because we were repeatedly told that to live without having experienced love was to not have lived at all. Maybe I'm too modern for my own good, but I like to think there is a romantic inside me somewhere that enjoys these kinds of unrealistic, pretty notions. I guess the old fashioned, fairy-tale-esque tone (Finding the man of your dreams, marrying him, having perfect, earth-shattering sex and living happily ever after) seemed a little silly to me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food meets passion 23 May 1999
By A Customer
Each chapter begins with the details for a wonderful Mexican dish. However, as the food is prepared by a passionate young woman, a tear or a drop of blood or alike transfers her feelings to the meal. The results on the guests are spectacular. Best suited to romantic food lovers.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escapism of an intriuging and magical nature 4 Nov 2001
By A Customer
A passionate story of love, heartbreak and family. The plot is magically woven around the kitchen. This is a book of recipies, love and life put together in a way which was totally unexpected. The story is quite surreal in parts which was a delight and refreshingly different.
I dont like to use the word romance in fear of putting you off. There is so much more to this novel. If your a 'foodie' like me then you'll love it. If you enjoy the slighty romantic notion of family dinners round the open fire. If you love the smell of someone cooking somthing wonderful as you walk through your front door then your going to really enjoy this. Its not all idyllic though, there was enough passion and anger and suspense to let me finish it in two days !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spellbinding tale of forbidden love 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I loved it!!!! An easy to read story. Radical,un-believable happenings are written so effortlessly and fusslessly that they appear very possible. An intertwined tale of forbidden love narrated along with the recipes of superb mexican dishes... a marvel,that'll I'll read over and over again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was introduced to this book whilst working on the set of a student film production in Wales. Usually tedious affairs, filled with mind-numbingly long waits, Like Water for Chocolate gripped my imagination and anchored itself to me like a limpitt; I read it in a day. I would reccommend this book to any would-be romantics and foodies alike. The culinary similies and metaphores are a feast in themselves, and make for mouth-watering reading. I would not describe myself as a whimsical daydreamer, but this book relieved my boredom and transported me to a realm of magic and intrigue, flowing effortlessly from chapter to chapter as if part of the ebb and tide of the sea. Essential is not the word for it. Try ummissable.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable love story with a twist 15 Sep 2000
Just fantastic - this book always stays in the mind. I rate this as highly as Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat', Patrick Suskind's 'Perfume' and Isabel Allende's 'Paula'. If you like the lyrical, evocative text of these writers, you'll absolutely love this too. And the film is excellent if you ever get chance to see it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like nothing you've ever read before. 29 Feb 2004
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
I was enticed to read this book purely because of the title, and it turned out to be one of the most well rounded, enjoyabel pieces of fiction I have ever read.
This book focuses on the love between Pedro and Tita, and the years apart they have to endure. It is interwoven with recipies and magical interludes. It is impossible to ever descripe this book, but I would recommend it to anyone, and encourage them to read it now. 'Like Water for chocolate' leaves you feeling warm, uplifted and full of hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars cutesy women's stuff 27 Jan 2013
If you are a man you will probably not enjoy this book, even if you are not terribly masculine. The book starts off with cutesy homilies on chopping onions and grandmothers after which a few pages I gave up. Reads like a bad Isabel Allende, and without her intelligence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I needed this for a school study. It is very good. Full of magic realism and interesting characters to follow.
Published 21 days ago by sarah marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Tales of love, of family, anguish, loneliness, spiritual awareness, love, pain and delight all told through the eyes of a girl and the food she loves to create that gives her... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marran Grey
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book
I love the South American style of writing but this book did not quite hit the spot. It left me wanting to read some Isabel Allende.
Published 2 months ago by Pauline Peters
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible quality sold as very good
do not use this seller, the item was sold as very good second hand. The book was folded and bent, the pages had pen notes all over them.
Published 6 months ago by R Skipp
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not life changing
I liked this book as I do enjoy magical realism. However, I would recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude over this.
Published 7 months ago by Cathron
4.0 out of 5 stars bought for a friend
I bought this book for a friend so I have not read it - not helpful really but i wanted to make a comment ! what i saw i liked and i will continue shopping with amazon
Published 8 months ago by caroline
1.0 out of 5 stars Cods wallop
I had to read this for our book club otherwise I would have given up on page40. Sorry it isn't my type of book.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Sandra A. Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful South American tale
I loved this book, it had magic mystery and everyday life all blended in together. The recipes were perhaps unachievable but added to the feeling of the piece.
Published 10 months ago by EBS
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of book
Instant arrival as was done over the internet. A very good read. Uses metaphors which might need some thought e.g. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mandy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Such an enchating book and so evocative, a lovely perspective on food and emotions.
I'll be recommending this to everyone :)
Published 12 months ago by Countrygal
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