Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

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The bestselling phenomenon and inspiration for the award-winning film.

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico blends poignant romance and bittersweet wit.

This 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, using cooking to express herself and sharing recipes with readers along the way.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Anchor
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Published on
Aug 13, 2002
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781400032778
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Magical Realism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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No one writes about Italian-American families with the humor, warmth, and heart of Peter Pezzelli. Now, with Francesca's Kitchen, he delivers another winning novel about how much we need the closeness of family--even if we don't know it.

Where There's Food, There's Family

For years, Francesca Campanile was the queen of her home. Standing in her Rhode Island kitchen, making sauce from sun-ripened tomatoes, dropping in basil from her garden, and adding fresh onion, Francesca dispensed advice as liberally as she did the garlic, arguing nonstop with her son and two daughters.

It was wonderful.

But now, her children and their children have moved away. And for the widowed Francesca, no longer having a family around to pester, annoy, guide, love, harangue and, of course, cook for, makes her feel useless. Who is she without them? What she needs is another family that needs her, and when she sees Loretta Simmons's ad in the Providence paper for a part-time nanny, she's sure she's found it. All the single mom wants is someone to fill in for a few hours a day. But it's obvious to Francesca that Loretta and her kids need more--a lot more. Loretta's struggling to make ends meet. Every man she brings home is a disaster. And her kids could definitely use some guidance--and a little lasagna, frankly. In these frazzled, disconnected people, Francesca senses a hunger and loneliness as deep as her own. It's time for Francesca to work her magic--if she can--and the best place to start is the kitchen. . .

Funny and moving, with a heroine to adore, Francesca's Kitchen is a delicious story about sharing love, life, advice, and, above all, food.

Peter Pezzelli was born and raised in Rhode Island. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he lives with his wife, two children and their dog in Rhode Island where, most days, he is busy at work on his next novel. Every Sunday, however, if he's not riding his bike, you'll find him and his family at the dinner table, enjoying a plate of rabes and sausage, or a nice fritatta, or some other favorite Italian dish cooked up by his wife.



Praise for the Novels of Peter Pezzelli

Every Sunday

"A sweet, brave, and funny novel--with a heart as big as the entire state of Rhode Island." --Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs

Home To Italy

A BookSense Pick!

"A beautiful novel. . .Peter Pezzelli captures the warmth of Italy--family, friendships, and food--invites us into the world of his wonderful characters, and takes us full circle on a journey of life and love." --Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

"Bighearted and wise, Home to Italy is a charming ode to the romance of new beginnings and the Italian gusto for life. Peter Pezzelli's tale of a widower who returns to his childhood town in Abruzzo to rebuild his life, only to be struck by the legendary thunderbolt of love, is a continuous delight."--Louisa Ermelino, author of Joey Dee Gets Wise

"With heartwarming touches of humor, Home to Italy reaffirms that life can always be renewed. This is a wonderfully satisfying romance that brings to life the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy." --Romantic Times

"A warmhearted novel, perfect for an autumn evening in front of the fire." --Litchfield Enquirer
Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of “crazed sheep and dizzying roads,” they might finally find a home.

From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets–an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Café, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. And it is an affront to the senses of Ballinacroagh’s uncrowned king, Thomas McGuire. After trying to buy the old pastry shop for years and failing, Thomas is enraged to find it occupied–and by foreigners, no less.

But the mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Marjan is thrilled with the demand for her red lentil soup, abgusht stew, and rosewater baklava–and with the transformation in her sisters. Young Layla finds first love, and even tense, haunted Bahar seems to be less nervous.

And in the stand-up-comedian-turned-priest Father Fergal Mahoney, the gentle, lonely widow Estelle Delmonico, and the headstrong hairdresser Fiona Athey, the sisters find a merry band of supporters against the close-minded opposition of less welcoming villagers stuck in their ways. But the idyll is soon broken when the past rushes back to threaten the Amnipours once more, and the lives they left behind in revolution-era Iran bleed into the present.

Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumph,s of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living.
“Mehran’s novel delights the senses on every page. The story pulses with life as three Iranian sisters struggle to make sense of matters of the heart and the spirit.”
–Elizabeth Cox, author of The Slow Moon

More than a year has passed since Marjan, Bahar, and Layla, the beautiful Iranian Aminpour sisters, sought refuge in the quaint Irish town of Ballinacroagh. Opening the beguiling Babylon Café, they charmed the locals with their warm hearts and delectable Persian cuisine, bringing a saffron-scented spice to the once-sleepy village.

But when a young woman with a dark secret literally washes up on Clew Bay Beach, the sisters’ world is once again turned upside down. With pale skin and webbed hands, the girl is otherworldly, but her wounds tell a more earthly (and graver) story–one that sends the strict Catholic town into an uproar. The Aminpours rally around the newcomer, but each sister must also contend with her own transformation–Marjan tests her feelings for love with a dashing writer, Bahar takes on a new spiritual commitment with the help of Father Mahoney, and Layla matures into a young woman when she and her boyfriend, Malachy, step up their hot and heavy relationship.

Filled with mouthwatering recipes and enchanting details of life in Ireland, Rosewater and Soda Bread is infused with a lyrical warmth that radiates from the Aminpour family and their big-hearted Italian landlady, Estelle, to the whole of Ballinacroagh–and the world beyond.


Praise for Marsha Mehran’s Pomegranate Soup

“A mouthwatering tale with flavors of Chocolat and Under the Tuscan Sun . . . sinfully sweet and satisfying.”
–Orlando Sentinel

“Glorious, daring, and delightful, filled with humor, hope, and possibility.”
–Adriana Trigiani, author of the Big Stone Gap novels

“An enchanting tale of love, family, and renewal.”
–Firoozeh Dumas, author of Laughing Without an Accent
"An impressive and heartfelt debut that will appeal to many readers, this charming and sensitive mother/daughter story captures the struggle between protection and isolation."—Library Journal

Meg May's mother has created a life out of stories. Outlandish stories that can't possibly be true. And when sickness threatens to hide the truth of her past forever, Meg must convince her imaginative and free-spirited mother tell her what is real.
As charming as the stories she's been told are, they aren't enough for Meg anymore. As she and her mother spend one last summer together, Meg tries to convince her mother to reveal a thing about who they used to be—and who they are now.

Full of quirky humor and depth of feeling, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is a delicious debut contemporary novel. Fans of Chocolat (Joanne Harris), The School of Essential Ingredients (Erica Bauermeister), and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender) will be charmed by this unobtrusive look at mother daughter relationships and the powerful exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to create the lives we want.

Full of quirky humor and depth of feeling, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is a delicious debut contemporary novel.

What reviewers are saying about The Kitchen of Half Truth

"[A] touching debut novel about the relationship between a mother and daughter" —Publishers Weekly

"There are some novels that grip you with a story so unique, yet so heart wrenching that you can't stop reading. From the Kitchen of Half Truth was just such a novel."—Laura's Reviews

"Held me captivated from first to last word ... You'll find just a little piece of yourself in all the wonderful characters."—Long and Short Reviews

" Funny, tender, quirky, and heartfelt, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is for anyone who has daydreamed about the future or been shocked to find something unexpected in the past."—Booklist

"A gorgeous tale of love, loss and making sense of the past ... filled with energy and life."—RT Book Reviews

"A story about understanding and compassion and how people often distort the truth to protect themselves and others, Goodin's narrative contains moments of eloquence, wit and sensitivity."—Kirkus

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