So, having finished Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies
, I can answer the suggested questions
. The foundational conflict from which the love story in the novel grows, along with the home remedies and with the way the lives of the characters are described, made me think of superstition and folklore. Having one's sister run away with one of Pancho Villa's men seems like a fairytale, especially in the fashion that it occurs in the novel. It's probably more realistic in Mexico, I suppose! It's kinda like running off with Queequeg, Sinbad, Aladdin, or Don Quixote. I mean, who does that? It is occurrences like that, as well as things like the chickens suddenly going mad over bits of tortilla or Tita's sister losing sixty-five pounds in one week, which make the novel fall into the category of magic realism or fabulation. I also thought it was a bit avant-guard, especially when one considers the involvement of the revolutionaries, and that avant-guard was initially a military term referring to the front guard or vanguard. From a different, less (or more literary) literal perspective, that the novel did not have regular chapters and that it contained recipes gives it a nonconventional form and helps it stand out from other novels. That freedom to break through social rules is what Tita wanted, so the form of the book mirrors her moral dilemmas. But without the conventions, there would have been no repression, and consequently no magic. That is what seems to be the case. That's a bummer of a conclusion to draw. I would give this book three and a half stars and I would recommend this book to others. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but it's nice to read something about Mexico that doesn't focus on violence and drugs, which is mostly what people see on television. It's not Mazatlan or Cancun and it's not focused on wars about drugs, which is a nice, fresh perspective.
"...I'd discuss the holy books with the learned man...and that would be the sweetest thing of all...would it foil some vast, eternal plan..." Hamick Fiddler on the Roof
La Belle Dame Sans Mercy, Merci, Maria - Chartier, Keats, Hamik?