Thursday, October 26, 2006
Like Water for Chocolate *** (for STYLE not CONTENT)
Here's what the reviewers say: Like Water For Chocolate is a deceptively simple book - 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. 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, told by Tita's grand-niece who follows in her footsteps, using her cookbook and continuing a tradition quite different from the one her great-grandmother tried to impose. (From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister)
Here's what I say: GIMME A GODDAM BREAK!! How any woman can love a man who marries and makes babies with her SISTER just to get close to HER is beyond me! Laura gets 3 stars for style. (I like the way she paints a picture, and the recipes are a nice touch even though it's highly HIGHLY unlikely that all of them work. I do a lot of baking and cooking, and some of those recipes looked VERY strange to me.) But she gets a big fat ZERO for content. I have no patience for people who feel they have to be stuck in a shitty situation forever, just because that's their lot in life. Bollocks. I found the protagonist irritating and furstrating... And as for the love of her life??!! He's lucky he died when he did. I wanted to kill him myself! All I can say is, THANK GOODNESS it wasn't a long read. i don't know if I could put up with the whining for another 50 pages!!!