Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel

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"Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquirel is a tale about a Mexican woman named Tita. She is the last born in her family and according to her family's tradition, she cannot marry because the youngest must take care of their mother until she dies. This is heart-breaking for Tita because she is deeply inlove with a man named Pedro. Despite her family's tradition, Pedro asks Mama Elena, Tita's mother, for Tita's hand in marriage. Of course, Mama Elena rejects him and becomes angry with Tita. Mama Elena suggests that Pedro marry her other daughter, Rosaura. The two get married and Tita is left taking care of her mother. Throughout the book, Tita must cope with losing her true love to her own sister!

Part of Tita's job while taking care of her mother is to cook. She must prepare all the food, and because of this she becomes very skilled as a chef. This book is very interesting because it uses Tita's cooking to start each chapter. Every chapter starts off with the ingredients for a Mexican recipe and the preparation. After this, memories that go along with that dish, like the marriage of her sister and first love, are described.

I enjoyed this book very much. One of the strengths of the book was having the recipes included. It was a very different approach toward writing a book. One of the weaknesses was that it was easy to get confused by the characters. There were a lot of characters that would appear at times when you would not expect it, which made it somewhat hard to follow. The plot was strong and the book did not deviate from the main idea.

Laura Esquirel touched upon the flaws and ignorance in some family traditions. In this book, the tradition was unjust to the child because when they grow up, they will want to have a life and family of their own. Tradition was a major theme in the novel. Also, the breaking of a tradition was important. Traditions in families are still relevant today, however they are not always taken as seriously as they were.

I would recommend this book. It is not a long book and not a waste of time. It provides insight to a different culture and does so in an interesting way. This book will be enjoyable for someone who likes romance, drama, and even cooking!





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