{Book Review} Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate is the latest book club selection. Once I downloaded it I finished it in the span of about two days. I can see why it was a #1 bestseller for several years.

The book is a romantic story that follows Tita, her mother and sisters during the time of the revolution in Mexico. There are also supernatural elements through out the book that give it a magical quality.

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.

Besides the sumptuous food described in the book what kept me reading was the crazy drama and strange dynamic of the family members. How awful would it be if your mother forced your sister to marry your boyfriend. I was also surprised that Tita’s older sister was surprised when she found out Tita and Pedro weren’t being so innocent with the whole arrangement. What do you expect when they’re all living together in the same house.

Each chapter of the book starts off with the month and an accompanying recipe that Tita makes for her family. It describes how she feels as she’s making each recipe and what happens when the family eats it and how it makes them feel. Tita makes wedding cake, quail in rose petal sauce, turkey mole with almond, chorizo, King’s Day bread, hot chocolate, cream fritters and chillies in walnut sauce.

As always may favorite quotes and food similes from the book. A baby in the book is described as being wrapped, “like a taco” and the house servant talks about how Mama Elena has arranged the marriage of Pedro and Rosaura instead of Pedro and Tita, “Your ma talks about being ready for marriage like she was dishing up a plate of enchiladas! And the worst thing is, they’re completely different! You can;t just switch tacos and enchiladas like that!”.

As soon as I finished the book I also rented the movie which I would also reccommend.


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