Like water for chocolate
After reading this magical realism novel, I was not swept away by the plot unlike when I read the same when I was in my teens. All I think about when I read it this time is whether the recipes are indeed for real. After finishing the novel, I was unable to pick out one recipe to try out of the monthly installments. In the end, I did not mind at all.
Now that I am into cooking, I most understand why the novel was given the title. To melt a solid chocolate for baking, water is not directly poured over it. Instead, the chocolate is placed on a stainless bowl and placed on top of a boiling water. The steam slowly and steadily melts the chocolate. This is indeed the case when Pedro married a sister of Tita just to be near her. Pedro is the hot water that melted Tita.
I have not seen the movie made out of this novel but that must be an interesting watch. But while many see this novel as a a story of lust, I just could not agree because this could also be a story of true love. What is true love without desire anyway? Just because the desire between Pedro and Tita has been suppressed all throughout the novel, it is not fair to simply bark that lust is the thread that ties them.
I most like how the ending of the story was cleverly presented. The telling of the ending started from my suspision that Tita chose the other man over Pedro, then I was seamlessly ushered into thinking that it was the young lad and the narrator (Tita's niece) who are going to get married only to realize that Tita and Pedro were the one who got married. (Sorry, future reader, I spoiled the ending for you but I just can't resist telling about it because that's the only portion that excited me.)