Like water for chocolate

I'd seen the film of Like Water for Chocolate some time ago, and was slightly disappointed by it. Even now, I'm not quite sure why - I like Magic realism, it's a storyline that normally I would have expected to have enjoyed but it just felt as though there was something lacking. So when I got the chance to read the book - I thought "why not?" after all a disappointing adaptation can often prove to be a very good book. However like the film Like Water for Chocolate failed to grab me.

It was an interesting blend of romance, exotic (to non-Mexican readers) recipes, fascinating snippets of household management, and a novel steeped in magical realism at its heart. However I found it rather too fanciful, it veered from prosaic everyday life to enormous flights of fancy, and for me didn't sit easily in either camp. I like my magical realism to be more consistently outrageous, or more work-a-day, I found the sudden shifts in tone hard to deal with. I also felt increasingly impatient with the characters, many of whom (with the exceptions of John Brown, Alex and Esperanza) were supremely irritating. I found myself regularly muttering crossly at the characters to get a life, and to get on with their lives - Pedro especially I felt needed a good slap - what on earth did Tita see in him? Not a book I would read again.


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