Like Water for Chocolate Hardcover – 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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 !
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.
The Magical Realism (MR) context makes this a difficult book to appraise, given that the normal aspects of novels, such as narrative flow, characterisation, character development, etc are absent. The book is in 12 parts, one for each month, and in each chapter a particular dish is linked to an incident in the life of the main character, Tita, whose emotions are invested in the dishes she makes.
The book takes place over some 25 years.
The device of hanging the narrative on a monthly dish is reasonable enough, though there is too much detail in the recipes and in the food preparation, and it’s sometimes like reading a cookery book. Otherwise the book was weak. The reader is expected to suspend his disbelief for the entire length of the book, and it quickly becomes wearisome. The symbolism is heavy-handed and juvenile.
It seems weird that we are told so little about the main characters - what’s Pedro like? we know nothing about him. Why should we care about him? Gertrudis - MR or not, we deserve something less cartoonish in the main character’s sister.
I tried to read this book having gained some sort of understanding of MR, but I found myself continually exasperated by the laziness of the author, who just seems to make it up as she goes along, and introduces, kills off and reintroduces characters whenever she feels like it. I’ve read other MR books, and quite enjoyed The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (though not 100 years of Solitude). Allende and Marquez put a lot more effort into their works in my view. In the House of the Spirits the MR is an occasional irritation and does not detract seriously from the book as a whole.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Exploring the burning pleasure and pain of physical desire, and the agony of repressed love, the intense delight and suffering of which our body is capable, this is an erotic tale... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Took a while to get into it as it's quite an unusual format but well worth perseverance.Published 1 month ago by mumjo
I first read this about 15 years ago after it was recommended to me by a colleague at the library where I worked. Read morePublished 2 months ago by madaboutbooks
Great book. One of the best you will ever ready particularly if you like food...and cookingPublished 4 months ago by SLRon
I'm afraid I don't understand why people rave about this book. I usually like so-called magical realism but I found the plot rather absurd and not in the least compelling. Read morePublished 4 months ago by weil
Quick, fast paced, interesting read, with lots of unexpected twists and turns.Published 6 months ago by Shriya