69 pages 2 hours read

Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1989

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Teacher Introduction

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

  • Genre: Fiction; Magical realism, romance
  • Originally Published: 1989 (Como agua para chocolate)
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 1030L; Grades 9-12
  • Structure/Length: approximately 256 pages; approximately 5 hours, 52 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The novel is set in early 20th-century Mexico and revolves around Tita, the youngest daughter of the De la Garza family. Family tradition forbids her from marrying and requires her to take care of her mother until her death. Tita expresses her emotions and desires through cooking, and the magical realism of the story brings her culinary creations to life. The central conflict centers on Tita's struggle to find love and happiness, despite societal and familial restrictions, and the pivotal role her cooking plays in her journey.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Death of a child; sexual assault; death by fire; physical abuse; miscarriage; mental illness; magical realism; sensuality

Laura Esquivel, Author

  • Bio: Born 1950; Mexican author known for her magical realism and imaginative storytelling; often explores themes of love, passion, and cultural traditions in her work; is also a screenwriter and director, with her adaptation of the novel into a film receiving critical acclaim; Like Water for Chocolate is her debut novel and became an international bestseller, celebrated for its unique blend of food, love, and magic.