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- Why do you think the author begins each of the first three chapters with the alternating narrators repeating the same sentence?
- The question of what it means to be a good parent (and/or a good daughter) preoccupies each of the narrators. Have they judged each other fairly?
- In many ways, the Valanzuela/Vazquez women have been unlucky in love. Is Mariana breaking this pattern or continuing it? Is Allen a good choice for her? And does he fit Isabela’s definition of a “revolutionary”?
- Although the Nicaraguan revolution plays a significant role in their lives, each character undergoes a personal revolution as well. How does each character revolutionize her life?
- Ninexin feels responsible for Manuel’s death. Is she?
- Why are Mariana and Isabela are so close? What role does the generation gap play in parent-child and grandparent-grandchild relationships?
- “I carry all those other selves inside me,” says Isabela, reflecting on the girl, young woman, and mother she used to be. How has Isabela changed to accommodate the shifting world around her? How has she resisted change?
- The novel begins on an airplane and ends in New Orleans, a city in which none of the protagonists live. Why did the author choose these settings?
- To what extent is Nicaragua itself a character in the novel? How does each woman’s relationship with the country impact her life and her choices?