I read this whole book in the bathtub and made myself very hungry reading the recipes. I seriously need some Mexican food right now!
“Tita knew through her own flesh how fire transforms the elements, how a lump of corn flour is changed into a tortilla, how a soul that hasn’t been warmed by the fire of love is lifeless, like a useless ball of corn flour.”
Like Water for Chocolate tells the story of Tita and Pedro. They fell instantly in love when their eyes met one day, and vowed to marry each other. Unfortunately, Tita’s fucked up family tradition requires the youngest daughter (Tita) to take care of her mother for life, meaning she can’t ever marry. Instead, Pedro marries Tita’s sister Rosaura. He and Tita still have this on again, off again thing, which has great repercussions for the whole family.
Here’s the thing: I really liked the way this story was told, but I didn’t like the story itself. I liked magical realism books — the random little magic occurrences in Like Water for Chocolate reminded me a lot of Isabel Allende, or Sarah Addison Allen. And I loved how the author incorporated the recipes that Tita creates into the novel. Although it sort of turned me off that the beginning of the book says that the author did not test the recipes in the book (seriously?). But I didn’t like the love story — Tita and Pedro did nothing for me and didn’t have any real reason to be together. They were both selfish and cruel, and I didn’t care one bit if their love overcame it all.