Like Water for Chocolate- Laura Esquivel


Like Water for Chocolate is a fictional novel that takes place in Mexico at the turn of the century, during the Mexican Revolution. The novel covers a time span of around thirty five years and is organized in monthly instalments with each month introduced by a traditional Spanish recipe. Most of the novel takes place on a Mexican ranch and is about a family with a very traditional mother. Within this novel, food and love intertwine to form a tale of forbidden romance.



Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic love story about the frustration, heartache and joys of a true love that could be passionate, but is forbidden and destroyed by a mother with traditional values. Pedro confessed his love for Tita and promised to be true to her, from then on they were bound together by love at first sight. One thing held the two from pursuing their love- a family tradition. This tradition states that the youngest daughter born to Mama Elena must take care of her until she dies, meaning Tita could not be married but must devote all her time to her mother. Pedro ends up marrying one of Tita¹s sisters, Rosaura, in order to be close to Tita. Tita was practically raised in the kitchen and she communicates her love for Pedro through the dishes she prepares, and he in turn shows his affectionate gratitude. Tita¹s quest to be with Pedro is shared only with Nacha, the main cook and helper in the ranch. Nacha understands Tita¹s pain and consoles with her. Nacha dies from sorrow of loss of her love and throughout the story appears as a kindly ghost. Pedro and Rosaura move away from the ranch leaving Tita alone. She then discovers her love for a local doctor, John Brown, who cares for her deeply. Tita realizes her love for John could never compare to her suppressed feelings for Pedro. As the story progresses, many tragedies occur, but Tita and Pedro still have undying love for each other.


Like Water for Chocolate- Laura Esquivel




Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can¹t strike them all by ourselves; we need oxygen and a candle to help. The oxygen would come from the breath of the person you love; the candle would be any kind of food, music, caress, word or sound that engenders the explosion that lights one of the matches. For a moment we are dazzled by an intense emotion. A pleasant warmth grows within us, fading slowly as time goes by, until a new explosion comes along to revive it. Each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul. That fire is its food. If one doesn¹t find out in time what will set off these explosions, the box of matches dampens, and not a single match will ever be lighted.


This theory that John tells to Tita is very symbolic in this tale of losing hope and rekindling the flame that seems to be burning away.

Like Water for Chocolate is Laura Esquivel¹s first novel. Originally she was a screenwriter and appeared in Chido One when she was nominated for the Ariel award for best screenplay.
Laura Esquivel was born and raised in Mexico and may have written this novel with the hope of portraying to her readers some Spanish background and history. As well, she may have used her novel to show her talent and creativity which she could not portray in her previous screenplay. She is a young author and is working on a current novel.

This novel is the kind of book anyone would appreciate. It is full of suspense, emotion and tradition. Some parts of the novel are very far fetched but this unique style of writing is all part of this fantasy. Like Water for Chocolate is definitely worthwhile to read. It will leave you with a sense of knowledge of all the hardships that Mexican women once went through and a better understanding of the pain love can possess.





Like Water for Chocolate- Laura Esquivel



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