Laura Esquivel

"The Law of Love"

(Reviewed by Judi Clark JAN 2, 1999)

The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel

How to describe this book? Science Fiction? An adventure in a style somewhere between Tom Robbins and Douglas Adams? A mystical study in the likeness of a Jane Roberts Seth book? 

This cosmic love story is all that and more.  It starts in Montezuma's Mexico and quickly brings us to the 23rd century, a time when aura reading is scientific business and the government can create virtual realities from our deepest conscious thoughts - like memories from past lives.  Acuzena is an astroanalyst which means that she can help the karmatically challenged to recover memories from their previous lives.  She, herself, is about to meet her twin soul even though her Guardian Angel, Anacreonte doesn't think she's ready. Anacreonte's job is to watch over her and to guide her to serve the Divine Will, except Acuzena doesn't always listen. 

In Esquivel's version of the 23rd century, an aerophone transports one anywhere (like back to your apartment) by stepping into a teleport and dialing a number, the home security system reads auras and the televirtual transmits the viewer to the scene of the news story. To help with the mood of the story, Esquivel includes a CD with Puccinni tracks and illustrations from Miguelanxo Prado. This multi-media novel includes numerous poems and lively danzones for "intermission for dancing!"  All in all this book is innovative in content and style. While it may not be for everyone, I liked it well enough that I'll probably read it again.

  • Amazon readers' rating: from 59 reviews

Washington Post.com Chapter One: The Law of Love


"Like Water for Chocolate"

(Reviewed by Judi Clark JAN 2, 1999)

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

This book is delicious. Esquivel's first novel draws on the visual experience as a screenwriter, and the rich childhood environment where magic is reality.

Great Aunt Tita was born crying from the onions being prepared in the kitchen. When she was only two days old, her father dies. Consequently, her mother's milk dries and she ends up being raised in the kitchen by the cook, Nacha. When she is fifteen, she meets her love and they conspire to marry. However, Mama Elena says this is not to be so. It is the tradition in their family for the youngest daughter to take care of the mother until she dies of old age.

When Pedro comes calling to ask for Tita's hand, Mama Elena refuses, but offers her older daughter Rosaura instead. Pedro agrees. He knows this is the only way to see the one he loves each day.

Esquivel weaves this tale in monthly installments of traditional Mexican recipes. Thus reinforcing food and the preparation thereof as the core of family tradition.

Esquivel wrote the screen play for the movie version and this is one movie that I recommend as much as the book.

  • Amazon readers' rating: from 461 reviews


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About the Author:

Laura EsquivelLaura Esquivel won international acclaim for her novel Like Water for Chocolate. She wrote the screen play for the film based on the the book, which swept the Ariel Awards of the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures, winning eleven in all, and then went on to become the largest grossing foreign film ever released in the United States.  In 1994, Like Water for Chocolate won the prestigious ABBY award, which is given annually by the American Booksellers Association to the book the members of the organization most enjoyed hand-selling.  The book has been translated into thirty languages and there are over three million copies in print worldwide.

Laura Esquivel lives in Mexico City, Mexico.

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