May 26, 2016
Looking Back - Like Water for Chocolate
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
1989 (English translation 1992) Anchor Books (Doubleday)
Finished on March 30, 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
With more than two million copies in print, Like Water for Chocolate has taken its place alongside such beloved first novels as The Joy Luck Club and How to Make an American Quilt as a treasured part of America's literary memory.
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 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.
My Original Notes (1996):
Wonderful! I read it in one day! Very quick, easy and light. A happy ending, too. Some interesting mystical, almost unbelievable events or interpretations. Very well done.
Rented the video - Terrible! Dubbing instead of subtitles. Made the acting seem forced. Disappointing!
My Current Thoughts:
This may have been my first exposure to magical realism. I still have my copy and after thumbing through a few pages, I know I can (and will!) easily read this again in a day or so. I haven't read anything else by Esquivel. Any recommendations?