Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (HB)
A love story set in Mexico, interspersed with recipes, related in unadorned, uncomplicated language. Yet when the ingredients are combined and simmer, subtle and unusual flavors emerge.
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Condition: vg- condition, minor shelf wear, light storage wear
On one level, this is the story of Tita, youngest daughter of the formidable matriarch Mama Elena who forbids Tita to marry her true love Pedro because tradition says that the youngest daughter must care for her mother until her death. When Pedro marries Tita's oldest sister in order to be near Tita, it begins a life-long conflict filled with passion, deception, anger, and pure love.
Interwoven throughout the narrative are the recipes, which, like an ancient Greek chorus, provide an ongoing metaphorical commentary on the characters and their culture. Finally, there is the food itself that Tita creates as head cook on the family ranch, food so vibrant and sensual, so imbued with her feelings of longing, frustration, rebellion, or love, that it affects everyone who eats it.
The combination of all these elements, with a good measure of the supernatural thrown in, makes for an earthy, quirky book, sad and funny, passionate, and direct.