I read this ages and ages ago and all I really remembered from it was something about Tita's sister having a very unfortunate digestive condition and a volcano. The title was mentioned during the UK bookaday thing we did back in July, so when I stumbled across a hardcover copy in a UBS, I thought "I should read this again".
I cracked it open on Sunday and found it to be a very well-written story with heaps more to it than I remembered. Like how evil Tita's mother was, Nacha's guiding hand, Gertrudis' rebellion, and John's nice-guy role. I didn't remember how complex things got between Tita and Pedro either. As for the ending - my late-teen-early-20's self totally misunderstood that ending; a serious mental re-drawing of the final scene was in order, as no volcanos were actually involved.
I enjoyed this story very much; I think the author did a beautiful job of creating characters that wildly judged each other without actually judging them herself. Vividly written with a strong sense of culture and time, it's easily a book I'll pick up again and again. Even without the volcano.