A review of this — 6 years ago
I find myself in the minority when I speak about Like Water for Chocolate – everyone seems to like this book. I agree that the premise is interesting (food and romance, with recipes at the beginning of each chapter) yet the plot is ragged, characterisation non-existent and dialogue laughable.
I struggled to find any meaning in the book when writing an analytical essay on it some months ago, but perhaps I was looking too hard – the book’s blurb and overall presentation seem aimed at the stereotypical Mills and Boon readership; and with prose (and plot!) this wooden I cannot fathom how the book made the list of ‘1001 Books you Must Read Before You Die’. I hope that the version I read was simply a poor translation, since the stilted dialogue and abundant clichés nearly drove me insane on repeated readings. However, I don’t hold high hopes for the next translation, since the plot is hackneyed and the ending a very poorly disguised deus ex machina.
Nevertheless, this book is reasonably enjoyable the first time round, with absorbing usage of magical realism. Just don’t try and analyse it!
Edit: I should have posted this in the other page, since that was the edition I read. Of course, my criticisms and praises still stand.