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Like Water For Chocolate [Paperback]

Laura Esquivel
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Sep 1993

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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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; 1st edition (16 Sep 1993)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0552995878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552995870
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,310 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)

Book Description

'A Novel in Monthly Instalments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies'.The international bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 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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6 of 6 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
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Culinary novel of passionate proximity 6 Dec 2009
As always it is difficult in a couple of lines to encompass the story of a novel, and "Like Water for Chocolate" is no exception. "Like Water for Chocolate" is the story of Tita, who grows up in the kitchen of her home under the guidance of Nacha, the cook. At a young age, Tita falls in love with Pedro, but it is her duty, according to family tradition and her mother's eternal badgering, not to marry, but to take care of her mother until she dies. Pedro marries Tita's sister, Rosaura, just to be close to Tita and a deepfelt tale of passionate proximity follows.

Yes, I find the phrase "passionate proximity" is correct. Pedro close to Tita. John Brown, the doctor, close to Tita. Juan, the revolutionary soldier, close to Tita's sister Gertrudis. Also Mama Elena close to her daughter, Tita. Rosaura close to Tita. And finally Tita close to cooking. It is beautifully displayed in the novel throught Tita's cooking and the feelings she kneads into the different dishes. I find that it is the culinary aspect of the novel, that sets it apart and ahead.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 3 days 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 10 months ago by Countrygal
1.0 out of 5 stars Wouldnt recommend it
Had to read it for a book club - didnt enjoy it at all, too depressing and definately not what I wanted to read.
Published 11 months ago by Hilary
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film but .....
A cultural film after the book of the same name. I enjoyed it but the ending is confusing if you've not read the book. Subtitled film.
Published 13 months ago by Susan Gibbons
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