Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies (Review)
reviews* / October 16, 2012

Title: Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies Author: Laura Esquivel Publication Year: 1995 (first published in Spanish in 1989) Pages: 256 Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism Source: Borrowed from my friend Amanda to read for book club From the cover: Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story. The only reason I read this book is because my book club was going to be talking about it in September. It had never really been on my radar, though apparently…

Annabel (Review)
reviews* / February 3, 2011

Title: Annabel Author: Kathleen Winter Publication Year: 2010 Pages: 480 Genre: Fiction, Canadiana Source: Purchased from Chapters From the cover: Kathleen Winter’s luminous debut novel is a deeply affecting portrait of life in an enchanting seaside town and the trials of growing up unique in a restrictive environment. In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret — the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as “Annabel,” is never entirely extinguished. I feel like I’m doing a lot of gushing lately, but I really, really loved this book. Having said that, I didn’t always love the things that happened in Annabel, or the way that characters acted. I think that was a large part…