Zada may be very far away, but she plays a big role in Frankie's growth throughout the novel. Ever the big sister, Zada always talks Frankie calmly through whatever problem she's having, giving guidance with a bit of a bite. That bite comes in the form of the feminist flair she adds to her advice. For example, Frankie tells her that Matthew's given her his shirt, Zada puts a different spin on the gesture:
"So maybe he wanted to see you in it. Maybe he's dressing you up. Did you think of that, he's dressing you up like a doll?" (18.43)
Yikes. Now there's a new way to look at what seemed like a harmless gesture. But Zada, now that she's off at college and out in the real world, can see things that Frankie can't. While Zada lets Frankie reach her own conclusions, she's always there to lend another perspective. In a way, you could say that Zada provides Frankie with her introduction to feminist theory. And look how she puts it to use!