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Like Water for Chocolate: A Mix of Reality, Magic, and Supernatural


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review by Lily Gonzalez

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club

22 Nov 2022. It was my turn to make the book selection and when we were discussing about what would be nice to read, the conclusion was that 3 suspense/mystery books will be a nice shift. Then, when I was looking for the options, I also remembered that they wanted to read something “different”, “not too American” (because they have read a lot of those), so I decided to include an “extra” book that was popular in my country (México). Besides, in case they like the book, we could eventually also enjoy another “Tic Book Club-Movie” together.

In our next meeting, I brought up my suspense mystery choices and the extra option. Surprisingly, the book that got more votes was Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para Chocolate)” by Laura Esquivel. I was really looking forward to hosting the event at my place, including making some Mexican(-dutch) snacks, but unluckily due to the latest restrictions, we decided to meet online. As always (online or in-person), our meeting was really nice.

The Book

The general comments were that it was a quick and funny read and we were trying to figure out the family dynamic of Tita (the main character); her relationship with her mom that demanded Tita not to get married because she was the youngest daughter and needs to take care of her until she dies. Chencha (the maid) who supported Tita as much as she could and acted as a mother for her, and most importantly we shared our opinion regarding the two partners of Tita; Pedro and John Brown. Mostly everyone agreed that it had a strange end, but in the end was an entertaining novel that mixed reality, magic, and supernatural events”

Reviews of the Book

Charming, instructive, savoury ― The Times

It’s a joy… it has an energetic charm that’s quite impossible to resist ― Literary Review

If originality, a compelling tale and an adventure in the kitchen are what you crave, Like Water For Chocolate serves up the full helping ― San Francisco Chronicle

A wondrous, romantic tale, fuelled by mystery and superstition as well as by the recipes that introduce each chapter ― Los Angeles Times


From the Back Cover

The number one bestseller in Mexico for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, Like Water For Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness and bittersweet wit. A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and in desperation he marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next 22 years Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

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