Laura Esquivel, author of my research paper book The Law of Love, also wrote another fantastic novel Like Water For Chocolate that highlights the Mexican culture as well. The novel is about the youngest daughter in a mexican family, Tita de la Garaza, who falls in love with a man named Pedro Muzquiz. However, the two are prohibited from marrying due to an old family tradition upheld by her mother, Mama Elena, that states that the youngest child in a family shall not be married. In order to circumvent not being able to see her, Pedro marries Tita's older sister, Rosaura, so he may be able to live on the ranch and see her every day. The novel is written in twelve sections, one for each month so the reader is able to see how the story progresses.
Later on in the novel, Tita delivers her nephew, Pedro, from Rosaura. TIta loves and cares for Roberto like he is hers' and Pedro's son. Mama Elena sees that Roberto is bringing the two closer and orders that Rosaura and her family move to San Antonio. Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, Gertruidis, the middle sister, runs away with a soldier involved in the Revolutionary War. After the move, Tita and Mama Elena discover that Pedro has died, and Tita regresses into a psychotic state and is sent to a asylum by Mama Elena.
Dr. John Brown takes pity on Tita and helps her regain her health. When she is nearly sane again, Tita decides that she will never go back to the ranch. However, Mama Elena is seriously injured in a raid by some revolutionary soldiers, so TIta is forced to return home to nurse her back to health. When Tita returns to the ranch, Mama Elena refuses to allow Tita to nurse her back to health and she commits suicide. When Mama Elena dies, Tita is freed from the restrictions of her birthright, and is now able to have a relationship with Pedro.
After her freedom, John proposes to Tita who is now able to accept his engagement. However, once she is "betrothed" to John, Pedro and Rosaura return to the ranch as well where Rosaura produces a second child, Esparanza. Needless to say, Tita is now confused with her feelings due to the presence of Pedro back into her life. Upon the night of his return, Pedro makes love to Tita who becomes pregnant. Mama Elena's spirit comes back form the dead at this occurence to curse Tita and her child.
Tita, now having no one to turn to, becomes depressed. Only at the return of her second sister Gertrudis, does Tita have someone to confide in. Gertrudis forces Tita to tell Pedro of her pregnancy. Pedro is elated and confesses his love to Tita. Mama Tita's ghost returns at the news of their happiness and sets fire to Pedro's body. Needless to say, Tita cares for Pedro until he is healthy again. Dr. John returns to the ranch to find Tita in love with Pedro and he tells her she must choose between him or Pedro. I'm not going to spoil the rest for you. :)
1) If your parents banned you from marrying someone, would you listen to them? Or would you leave? Why or why not?
2) What would you do if a close member of your family ended up marrying the person you loved?