75 pages 2 hours read

Sandra Cisneros


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2002

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Part 1 Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “Recuerdo de Acapulco”

Part 1, Introduction Summary

The book opens with a brief introduction from Celaya “Lala” Reyes, the narrator and author of the story. Here, she reflects on a photograph taken of everyone in her family during a vacation in Acapulco, including her brothers, her Aunty Light-Skin with her daughter Antonieta Araceli, her mother and father, and “the Awful Grandmother.” Everyone is there except for Lala herself, who was building sand castles at the time when in it was taken.

Lala notes that the beach photographer who took the image would’ve referred to it as un recuerdo, which literally means, “a memory.” Because she is absent from this image—this memory—she must fill in the absence with her creative imagination. She also notes that her absence makes her feel as though she herself is the photographer: the documenter of this recuerdo.

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “Verde, Blanco, y Colorado”

The book shifts to a scene from Lala’s childhood wherein her immediate and extended family—including the families of her Uncle Fat-Face and her Uncle Baby—drive from Chicago to Mexico City as they do each year. Lala’s father and her uncles race one another in their cars, with the children urging them to drive faster and faster.