I got my first taste of magical realism this year through Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, “Love in the time of cholera”. I didn’t love it. I hated it. I found it over the top. Too romantic. Too unrealistic. Just too much.
And if you were to ask me what the novel was about, I would probably reply with something glib, “It’s about a guy, who falls in love with a girl. They exchange letters and declare eternal everlasting love. She eventually breaks it off him and does something sensible by marrying a doctor. He whores around, and hopes that one day her husband will die. Not that he ever does anything to hasten the doctor’s death. Wimp.”
“Like water for chocolate” falls under the same genre, but oh boy am I emotionally invested in these characters. Eighteen pages in and I was whispering to the protagonist, Tita, “Man, you’ve got to poison that bitch.” The bitch of course is her mother, who forced Pedro, the love of her life to marry Tita’s sister.
Here’s a quote from the novel:
“Tita lowered her head, and the realization of her fate struck her as forcibly as her tears struck the table. From then on they knew, she and the table, that they could never have even the slightest say in the unknown forces that fate Tita to bow before her mother’s absurd decision, and the table to continue to receive the bitter tears that she had shed on the day of her birth.”