York Common Reader: 2016-2017

Book Description

   Traveling back to the late nineteenth-century in Mexico, Like Water for Chocolate narrates the story of Tita De la Garza, a young girl living on her mother’s ranch who is caught in the battle of choosing love or upholding her family’s traditions. Tita falls deeply in love as a teenager with her neighbor, but is immediately prohibited from being with him, and instead is required to take care of her family under the heavy rule of her mother. Living within a very dominant female-based family, she realizes that more responsibility is placed on her shoulders than she thought.

   Throughout the novel, Tita maintains the struggle between preserving her family’s ranch and wanting to follow her heart. However, she finds comfort in her cooking. To express her repressed emotions, she creates magical recipes that powerfully convey her emotions. Whether she is happy or sad, Tita’s food reflects whatever she is going through. Her recipes end up not only influencing herself, but affect everyone around her as well, and contribute to the course of her life and the story. 

   The book continues to document Tita’s life as she blossoms into a young woman. She learns to handle and overcome different situations that come her way, such as births, deaths, marriages, and growing older. However, the reader will find that Tita’s passion for cooking and being in love never dies – instead, it intensifies once she truly starts to find her inner strength. Like Water for Chocolate is a bildungsroman novel that will fully engulf the reader into the life of Tita De la Garza and her family.  

Author Description

Before becoming a successful writer and politician, Laura Esquivel first began her career as a teacher and producer for children. Combining her heritage along with her love for food, she created Like Water for Chocolate in 1989. The book was so widely loved that it was adapted into a highly acclaimed film. Esquivel continued on to develop films and novels for adults that are centered on love, family, and coming-of-age. They have become some of the most popular and largest grossing foreign films and novels ever released across the world. Additionally, her screenplays have been applauded by critics for her use of merging non-fiction events enveloped in drama and romanticism. While still working on new novels, Esquivel is currently serving as head of the Mexico City Cultural Committee and member of the Science & Technology and Environmental Committees for the Morena Party in Mexico City, where she remains very involved in her community and continues to explore the relationship of love and power between men and women in Mexico throughout her work.

2016-2017 Common Reader Events 

York College Library Exhibit. Year-Round. 
Stop by the York College Library and visit our special exhibit on Like Water for Chocolate.

Kickoff FiestaTuesday, September 20, 2016, 4-6 pm, Room AC-2D01
Eat Mexican food, meet fellow first-year students, and immerse yourself in Mexico, the setting for the novel Like Water for Chocolate.

Movie Screening:Like Water for Chocolate, November 1, 2016, 12-2 pm,  Performing Arts Center Little Theater 
Many novels and works of fiction have been adapted for film media.  Come watch the movie Like Water for Chocolate to see how it compares to the book. 

Art Contest: Redesign the Book Cover. Submission deadline Friday, November 18.
Using your imagination, create an alternative book cover for Like Water for Chocolate, based on your own reading of the book.  See Common Reader Art Contest guidelines for details.  Top entries will be displayed at York’s Arts and Sciences Expo on Thursday, December 8, 2016.