Friday, December 18, 2009

Like Water For Chocolate (1989)

Like Water for Chocolate is Laura Esquivel's highly-acclaimed novel about two lovers who are unable to acknowledge their relationship in public. The title refers to Tita's boiling point, both in terms of anger and sexual tension.

Tita, the main character, is free only in the kitchen, a place where she can express herself through the preparation and serving of food. Esquivel's narrative goes into very little descriptive detail and is driven primarily by a wide range of emotion: love, desire, jealousy, hatred, and fear. Culturally, the story explores the Mexican tradition where the youngest daughter is expected to stay unmarried in order to take care of her mother into old age. In the end, while I appreciated Esquivel's dose of magic realism, I couldn't get past the strained family relations.

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