Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Women's Fiction | Fantasy | Random House Black Swan | 1989Goodreads | Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble
LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE by Laura Esquivel was such a decadent read. I didn't know what I was getting into, when my friend lent it to me, all he said that it's magical, passionate, romantic, and delicious. Curious I decided to read it not knowing that it'll be one of those books that will stay with me for a very long time.
The story goes like this. Tita is the youngest in her family and tradition dictates that she doesn't marry and is delegated to take care of her mother until the day she dies. When her sister, Rosaura, comes home to get married, Tita unfortunately fell for sister's fiance, Pedro, and he in turn fell for her. Wrought with so much passion but tied to her duty to her family, Tita endured 22 years of loving Pedro from afar, cooking for him, his wife, and the rest of her family. All the while, Tita's family treats her like a slave and grinding her to a pulp. The magic lies in Tita's dishes, whoever consumes her food will feel Tita's mood while she was making the food but to the highest degree: lust, anger, sadness, even death. Some people fight with guns and swords, Tita fights with edible delights.
I love the magical realism of LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE and combined with family drama, forbidden love, and of course, food I found it impossible not to love the book. It's quite difficult not to get invested in Tita and Pedro's story and empathize with their rather tragic love story. There were times when Pedro got on my nerves because I found him weak while Tita had me loving and hating her at the same time. I love martyrs but let's face it, they're kinda frustrating too because they don't fight back the way we want them too. And of course, there's Tita's deplorable mother who is so intent with keeping up appearances that she forgot Tita's her daughter too. But regardless, I love the moral dilemma and the sense of duty imposed on all of the characters. There's a lot of contradictions in the story which made LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE colorful and deep. You'd think that the conflict-resolution is black and white but once you get to know Tita and the rest of her family, you'd soon realize that it's one effed up gray area.
LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE was also adapted into film later on, the trailer below is my favorite part in the book and had me researching edible roses! With a simple dish, Tita waged war with her sister, made Pedro fall in love with her, and gotten a bit of revenge on her mother. I have no words to describe how amazing this novel is, you just have to experience it for yourself.