Sunday, March 23, 2008

Como Agua para Chocolate

I haven’t read a book in a really long time. I have all the books I bought piled at home, left unread. I just do not have the time for it. For some, I lose interest as early as just a few pages. I’ve been searching for that really good book that would put me back on track. It was quite a difficult thing to do. I’m way past my Judith Mcnaught days (those cheesy romance novels), my Sidney Sheldon phase (I have read all of his books), the Jeffrey Archer period (a British author). Paulo Coelho books and my chick flick phase (yup, this is with Sophie Kinsella). I also want to buy the latest books by Kinsella and Coelho but they are still on the hardbound issues. They are still expensive. Last Saturday, I chanced upon a book on sale at National Bookstore. I bought it with a 20 percent discount. Every time I buy a book I don’t only read the summary at the back, I also read the first few pages to see if my attention will be drawn to the book. This way I am sure that the book would be worth my money. This is what I did when I grabbed the copy of Laura Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate” and why wouldn’t I be not drawn? The first pages after all talked about a recipe. I knew immediately that I would enjoy reading it.

Like Water for Chocolate had been a sensation. It is a best-seller. Even in college I knew that already. Somehow I just did not find a way to put my fingers in the books’ pages until now. The book was divided into 12 chapters, each corresponding to each month. With each chapter came a recipe as the main character, Tita, expresses her emotion through cooking. The book was the love story of Tita and Pedro, which was suppressed and forbidden by old beliefs. Tita was not allowed to marry for being the youngest child and destined to take care of her mother. Pedro married Tita’s sister Rosaura as it was the best way he could do to stay close to Tita. It was something which I find so stupid and cowardice. As the story progresses, the fate and struggles of the two lovers were revealed.

The book was a light read and it was entertaining. The book uses magical realism. Here are some excerpts to prove that:

“Her body was giving off so much heat that the wooden walls began to split and burst into flame. Terrified, she thought she would be burnt to death, and she ran out of the little enclosure just as she was, completely naked.”

“John interrupted these memories by bursting into the room, alarmed by the stream that was running down the stairs. When he realized it was just Tita’s tears, John blessed Chencha . . “

“At that moment the fiery bodies of Pedro and Tita began to throw off glowing sparks. They set on fire the bedspread, which ignited the entire ranch.”

I almost finished the book in just one sitting (almost two hours). I just had to stop so that I still have something to look forward to the next day.

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