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Like Water For Chocolate Paperback – 16 Sep 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; 1st edition (16 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552995878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552995870
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a charming book that I'm glad I read. The characters are enjoyable and I like the tragic set up of Tita's story...but as a fan of magic realism, it feels like magic realism lite...it touches on the techniques I know and love but doesn't quite accomplish them. Sometimes there is a lack of depth to some situations and characters, especially Pedro who she is in love with. As the book progresses, I don't feel he is worthy of her devotion. It also only really touches on the political history that it is meant to run along side which is a shame. But the writing is rich and the recipes so vivid you can taste them.
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By A Customer on 23 May 1999
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition
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 in the purest sense. It evokes the smells and tastes of the body, as well as those of the kitchen, showing the power of the senses to overwhelm us.

Tita falls in love with Pedro. Their eyes meet, and:
‘She understood how dough feels when it is plunged into boiling oil… The heat that invaded her body was so real. She was afraid she would start to bubble… like batter.’

Even a single look can be erotic. Pedro finds Tita grinding ingredients in the kitchen and his gaze transforms her ‘from chaste to experienced’ without even touching. She is 'like water for hot chocolate' because she is 'on the verge of boiling over' with desire.

Every erotic experience is conveyed in terms of food and cooking, rising heat, flesh seared and long simmering. Chillies appear in recipes repeatedly, symbolising the fiery heat of passion. Tita's emotional journey is told alongside and through her creation of cuisine.

Tita's fearsome mother, Elena, insists that Tita must never marry, being destined to take care of her until the day she dies. Pedro agrees to marry older sister Rosaura instead, declaring it as a means of staying close to his beloved, but, of course, as a servant declares, ‘You can't just exchange tacos for enchiladas!’

Passion is contained and beaten into submission as surely as Tita herself whips eggs into meringue. Each dish provides a metaphor for Tita's love life and cooking remains her only way of expressing her emotions, with magical results. Weeping as she beats the wedding cake for Pedro and Rosaura, her tears enter the mixture.
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