Janice O’Brien

English response Response to the book as of Chapter 12:

Isabel Allende is an amazing writer, but she just can’t let things go. I get the fact that Esteban Garcia is going to do something horrible, and it’s probably going to be regarding Alba, but please, for the love of dolphins, STOP THE FORESHADOWING! It’s driving me up the wall. I promised not to read the back of the book like I usually do because otherwise I can’t focus on the book, but all this foreshadowing is testing my limits. I’m so tempted to look. Oh, and the fact that Miguel, Alba’s boyfriend, is actually the little Miguel, brother of Amanda, that just snuck up on me. I’m usually good at catching those things, but I didn’t get it this time, even when Miguel asked Alba to ask Jaime to look at his sister. It took me until when Jaime recognized her for me to put it together. Something that’s incredibly disturbing is Jaime. He and Amanda can finally be back together, and what does he do? He falls for his NIECE!! Does anybody else find this not a bit disturbing? I did manage to see something though. There’s a sort of cycle that’s going on with the relationship between the Del Valle/Trueba side of the family, and the Garcia side. Esteban’s mother is not really mentioned, but it is said that his family didn’t want him going to Tres Marias when he first bought it in the beginning of the book. So she obviously didn’t like the people there, probably people like Pedro Garcia. Clara, the second generation of the Trueba side (married to Trueba, yes, but she’s the second generation we’re looking at), has a very good relationship with Pedro Segundo Garcia. He’s a very close friend and at the verge of being a lover, but they never would do that, so they’re just good friends. Then along come Blanca and Pedro Tercero, the thrid generation we see. Blanca from the Trueba side and Pedro from the Garcia side. They are totally in love and even have a child, Alba. She’s the official union of the two families. BUT….remember that illegitimate child Esteban Trueba had a while back with Pancha Garcia? Well now there’s a boy descended from both a Trueba and a Garcia. But this time, the Trueba is a man and the Garcia is a woman. (All the other times, the Truebas are the women and the Garcias are the men). This little combo produces the lovely Esteban

Garcia. He has so much hate for Alba it’s absolutely ridiculous. So to better illustrate my horrible explanation, here’s a drawing: Treba Side: 1. 2. Esteban’s mother Clara relationship: hate (or just dislike) friendship love rape… Garcia side Pedro Garcia Pedro Segundo Pedro Tercero Pancha Garcia]

3. Blanca [2. Esteban

Now that we have two characters that are both unions of the two families, 4. Alba hate (intense) Esteban Garcia

So begins the cycle again….hate, friendship, love, hate, friendship, love. I just thought that was pretty interesting. From this pattern I have deduced that the reason Esteban’s mother hated Pedro was because they were both a union of two families that were also on separate ends of the social scale. Further back, I think Esteban’s grandmother was in love with Pedro Garcia’s father. Mua ha ha. That’s why the family is so darn weird. They’re all the result of inbreeding! Although probably better than that, Alba is the character that symbolizes perfect balance in the world. She is the union of the two families. From the Trueba side, the crazy women. From the Garcia side, all Pedro X Garcia men. So not only is Alba symbolically the perfect harmony of the two genders, she is literally the blending of a feminine family and masculine family.

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