The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

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This story follows several generations of an unusual family: Rosa, the girl with green hair who was too beautiful to live long, Clara, her precocious younger sister, who moves objects with her mind and stops speaking for nine years, Esteban, the choleric self-made man who loved both sisters, whose dark character brings ruin to his family. This saga covers love and hatred, indifference and revenge. The family is divided by politics. The women (grandmothers, mothers and daughters) are all full of an eccentric brand of common sense and are never thrown by drama. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

A recipe book for disaster, this fable tells of Tita, born and raised in the hot comfort of a kitchen. But Tita’s mother denies her the liberty of marrying Pedro. Only through her cooking can Tita express her passion: a love as dangerous as a hot stove. One meal causes her sister’s clothing to spontaneously combust!

I didn’t connect with any of the characters because they were so exaggerated. I didn’t want to care about them because the author seemed to take their fates so lightly. Magic realism? Not sure I like it. Not sure about the recipes in this book either.

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