This is truly a magical book that embraces culture, language, food and emotions. Each chapter contains a recipe at the beginning; which is in reference to Tita's (main character) special connection with food. From birth, Tita was literally swept away by food and provided with a gift for cooking. Her culinary skills are legendary, because of her ability to manipulate the flavors to reflect her emotions. For example, if Tita were to weep into the soup she was making, her family would feel Tita's sorrow and cry their own tears as they ate the soup. It is through her cooking that Tita is able to entice her beloved Pedro, manipulate people's emotions and express herself fully.
Tita de la Garza is in love with Pedro and he is in love with her. Her mother Elena rejects Pedro's request for Tita's hand in marriage, because she subscribes to the following tradition: the youngest daughter must remain unmarried and stay at home caring for her mother (until the mother passes away). In a bid to remain close to Tita, Pedro reluctantly marries her older sister, Rosaura. Devastated by this marriage, Tita buries herself in her cooking and longs for Pedro (who is still in love with Tita). Elena gets Pedro and Rosaura to move away, which results in the death of their son Robert. Tita blames her mother for her nephew's death and Elena beats Tita in return. Unable to deal with her mother, Tita holes herself up away from her family. She eventually winds up living with Dr. Brown, who takes care of her and loves her. The two make plans to marry. However, her love for Pedro remains alive. In fact, Tita and Pedro do finally get together. They have one wonderful night together - so full of passion that it literally consumes and kills Pedro. Filled with grief and sadness, Tita manipulates a fire into engulfing the entire De La Garza homestead, including herself. At last reunited in death, Tita and Pedro are finally able to spend an eternity together.
Talk about a love story that spans a lifetime. Esquivel has created a book so charming and original that it is truly a must read. Her writing is full of emotion and dripping with meaning. The characters are representative of all types of women and their capabilities. And the magical realism used within the text adds an extra punch to the book that truly brings it to life. Definitely one of my favorite reads.
Hope everyone has a fantastic week filled with lots of wonderfully, interesting reads. Cheers!!