Month: August 2010
I do not like to cook, but there were parts of this book, which rotated around the subjects of forbidden love, food, food and forbidden love, that I did like. Primarily I liked that it had a clear plot and a clear story line and did not take a long time to delve into or explore any of it. There was no “I’ll give this 100 pages and see if it’s worth reading.” Right from the beginning you get the essence of the book and you know immediately whether you want to read more or not.
At the beginning Tita tells her Mother that Pedro wants to ask for her hand. Tita is the youngest and her mother believes that it is her responsibility to take care of her until she dies. Pedro is heartbroken and agrees to marry one of the sisters just so that he can be close to Tita.
It’s a love story/cook book because every chapter starts with a recipe and each chapter will delve into the “how-to” portion of the recipe. I found this really distracting and skimmed like crazy when she started talking about cooking.
I did not like the ending. Ugh. And I think that Tita should have found someone else and lived happily ever after in a really hot kitchen. Unfortunately, the author disagreed.
Each chapter of screenwriter Esquivel’s utterly charming interpretation of life in turn-of-the-century Mexico begins with a recipe–not surprisingly, since so much of the action of this exquisite first novel (a bestseller in Mexico) centers around the kitchen, the heart and soul of a traditional Mexican family.
The youngest daughter of a well-born rancher, Tita has always known her destiny: to remain single and care for her aging mother. When she falls in love, her mother quickly scotches the liaison and tyrannically dictates that Tita’s sister Rosaura must marry the luckless suitor, Pedro, in her place.
But Tita has one weapon left–her cooking. Esquivel mischievously appropriates the techniques of magical realism to make Tita’s contact with food sensual, instinctual and often explosive. Forced to make the cake for her sister’s wedding, Tita pours her emotions into the task; each guest who samples a piece bursts into tears. Esquivel does a splendid job of describing the frustration, love and hope expressed through the most domestic and feminine of arts, family cooking, suggesting by implication the limited options available to Mexican women of this period.
Tita’s unrequited love for Pedro survives the Mexican Revolution the births of Rosaura and Pedro’s children, even a proposal of marriage from an eligible doctor. In a poignant conclusion, Tita manages to break the bonds of tradition, if not for herself, then for future generations. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.