Tita is the youngest daughter of Mama Elena, the tyrannical owner of the De la Garza ranch. As the youngest, she is expected to remain single and stay at home to care for her mother. So when Tita falls in love, Mama Elena arranges for Tita's older sister to marry Tita's young man.
As punishment, Tita is forced to bake the wedding cake. The bitter tears Tita weeps while stirring the batter provoke a remarkable reaction among the guests who eat the cake. It's apparent then that Tita's culinary talents are unique.
©1989 Laura Esquivel; (P)1994 Books on Tape, Inc.
"A tall-tale, fairy-tale, soap-opera romance, Mexican cookbook, and home-remedy handbook all rolled into one, Like Water For Chocolate is one tasty entree from first-time novelist Laura Esquivel." (San Francisco Chronicle)
This is a beautiful story combining magical realism, cooking and Latinas. The narration was good but I felt it needed a younger voice.
In a Mexico we might have all forgotten, Tita and Pedro fall in love, but are forbidden to marry. Her mother Elena, sees Tita's role as her caretaker for life - no youngest daughter has ever married and her daughter will not be the first to break tradition. Tita's heart is broken when her mother instead offers to Pedro her other daughter, and he accepts. Now they live in the same house, and Mama Elena cannot forbid their love as she did their marriage but Tita has one weapon left, her cooking.
I liked the fact that cooking was woven into the story. There was a bit to much sexual referance for my taste. It was never dwelt on very long or in detail but referenced often. The story was good and the characters interesting.
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