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Like Water for Chocolate | [Laura Esquivel]

Like Water for Chocolate

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.
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Publisher's Summary

The #1 best seller in Mexico in 1990, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (190 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.0 (84 )
5 star
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4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Story
4.0 (81 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Linda 07-24-04
    Linda 07-24-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    13
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    Overall
    "A delicious story"

    This story will evoke hunger, anger, giggles, frustration, sadness and joy. The food in the story is so well described that you can almost smell and taste it.
    The character development is excellent.
    I was a little disapponted in the conclusion -- but the story was so enjoyable that I purchased the video.
    Like Water For Chocolate is worth the time, the audio credit and or the cash.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla Pasadena, CA, USA 05-04-10
    Carla Pasadena, CA, USA 05-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Aspiration Falls Flat"

    Like Water for Chocolate was a big disappointment. Though the author aspired to several different levels, she falls flat on each. There was little whimsy, no real cultural feel, and no character development. The plot was minimal. The book seemed to be a thought in the author's mind, which she never took the time to flesh out so that it could be written coherently.
    The book is simply silly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 02-02-05
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, USA 02-02-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    568
    59
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    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    "A taste of the exotic"

    What a great book in its way of taking us to another world - the world of Mexico and a small farm there. There is that otherworldliness about the way the food changes with the attitude. The recipes sound delicious and they mix into the books events in such a unique way. This book is great not only for the content, but for the way the story was told.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Beth page, TN, USA 03-11-10
    Brett Beth page, TN, USA 03-11-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Loved this story"

    I did not know what to expect from listening to this story. But I loved it. The characters are rich with details, and the author spins a story like no other.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Centreville, VA, USA 09-23-08
    Crystal Centreville, VA, USA 09-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Imaginative & Soothing"

    Having to read this for a class for school, I found the audio form as an imaginative and soothing alternative. The narrator's voice electrifies the story and adds a cultural spice to the listening experience. Overall, a great listen! The recipes made my mouth water!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralf Weber California, USA 01-06-08
    Ralf Weber California, USA 01-06-08 Member Since 2004

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    21
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    1
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    Overall
    "Nice Story, Reading a little monotonous"

    such a successful book, but the audio book reader's monotonous.

    plus it's a book whose characters are from mexico, so I feel the narrator should at least have a hint of Mexican accent, but no, nada.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Montebello, CA, USA 09-02-04
    James Montebello, CA, USA 09-02-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    9
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    0
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    Overall
    "Life is a point of view"

    The book is a mixture of fable and history. History in the sense of how life might have been in that time period. The material doesn't pull the punches on sexuality, envy, lust, romance, and love. The reader has a great voice, and sometimes that's half the battle. I recommend it, it's a "ok" / "good" book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-03-14
    Elizabeth MENLO PARK, CA, United States 01-03-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible book. Disappointing narration"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I was very disappointed with the narration. It was bland, monotone and the narrator's accent when pronouncing certain words were like nails on a chalkboard. It would have been much better to get someone who is equally fluent in English and Spanish. But even more disappointing was the monotone reading. The story is so passionate, so full of life.... The narration was bland and tasteless (pun intended).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Like Water for Chocolate?

    The ending. Such a fantastic end. And the descriptions of the food - so rich and real. The author has an incredible way with words


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Reading?

    I'm not sure... Someone, however, who is fully fluent in both English and Spanish. While the narrator may have a good command of Spanish, her very bad pronunciation of certain words was jarring and distracting. Would have also liked to see an actress. Not sure what the current narrator's background is, but there is little to no emotion in her voice, which leads me to think that she is not an actress.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It is already and yes, I would. It's a fantastic movie, actually.


    Any additional comments?

    Awesome story. Beautifully written. Would have liked to find an Audible version available in Spanish, however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Tucson, AZ, United States 02-04-13
    Linda Tucson, AZ, United States 02-04-13

    Sericulturalist and horticulturalist, mad scientist and earth oven baker.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    "Magical Realism That Feels Like Non-Fiction"

    If you are from the borderlands or have spent an time here, you will be nodding your head with familiarity from the first chapter. Wicked, fun, sad, and thought provoking. Be sure to see the movie as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin SPRINGFIELD, MO, United States 11-27-12
    Erin SPRINGFIELD, MO, United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good mix of humor and romance!"
    What made the experience of listening to Like Water for Chocolate the most enjoyable?

    So much of the story seems like "real life" with random bursts of funny, totally off the wall moments.


    Have you listened to any of Kate Reading’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no- she does a great job portraying the different characters


    Who was the most memorable character of Like Water for Chocolate and why?

    Gertrudis and Rosaura- the sisters


    Any additional comments?

    I want to cook so much of the food in this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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