Today we are going to talk about March’s book of the month, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. But first, let’s explore this book and find out what it is all about.
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, so that 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.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT AND/OR ANSWER:
- The book has 12 chapters, 12 months and 12 recipes. Why do you think the author chose to write the book in monthly installments?
- What is the role of tradition in the novel and the impact it has on the characters’ lives?
- What are some of your favorite examples from the book that use food as metaphor?
- There are several images of heat and fire (symbolizing desire) found throughout the novel. How does heat affect different characters? Are heat and fire sources of strength or destruction?
- Which recipe would you like to try?
(Questions from our illustrious Facebook group leader – Mocha Girl Classy)
REVIEWS FROM MOCHA GIRLS
Mocha Girl “Pineapple Strawberry”
Mocha Girl Natasha D.
Mocha Girl Rowena
Wow, fascinating story. Quite fairytale-like at times. Great descriptions of cooking. The mother was definitely a villain. (Goodreads)
Mocha Girl Classy
Tita is the youngest of three daughters and according to tradition, she can not marry because she has to care for her mother. When the love of her life, Pedro, comes to ask for her hand in marriage, her evil mother, Elena, says “no.” Here’s the kicker, Mama Elena tells Pedro that her daughter Rosaura is available. And stupid, spineless Pedro agrees to marry Rosaura.
Esquivel takes us on a magical journey as we watch Tita’s life unfurl from heartbreak. Tita is a wonderful cook and something special happens whenever she creates a meal with one of the recipes listed at the beginning of each chapter. (Goodreads)
Mocha Girl Tiffani
Tita is the youngest of three daughters. Her mother Elena says that as the youngest it is Tita’s duty to never marry and instead take care of her mother forever. When Tita falls in love as a teenager, her mother quickly puts an end to the relationship. Tita is heartbroken but her cooking gets her through that and much more. Like Water for Chocolate is story told in “monthly installments with recipes, romances, and home remedies.” Each chapter tells another story in Tita’s life along with one of the recipes for the food she is so good at crafting. Don’t be surprised if you get hungry while reading this delicious story.