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Quotes

Quote #1

Clara was extremely precocious and had inherited the runaway imagination of all the women in her family on her mother's side. (1.4)

Inheritance is a motif in the novel – Clara, her sister Rosa, and all of Clara's female descendents share a vivid imagination and an aptitude for expressing themselves creatively. Even Blanca's general practicality doesn't keep her from developing an artistic streak.

Quote #2

All her life she would remember the afternoons spent in the company of her mother in the sewing room, where Nívea sewed clothing for the poor on her machine and told stories and anecdotes about the family. (3.11)

Mothers and daughters bond over storytelling – this is something else that gets passed down through the women of the family from generation to generation. Nívea and Clara, Clara and Blanca, and Blanca and Alba all repeat the ritual of sharing family anecdotes. We can only suppose that Alba will do the same with her own daughter.

Quote #3

They buried her in a special plot in the tiny graveyard alongside the abandoned church, at the foot of the volcano, because she had been the patrón's wife, in a manner of speaking, since she had given him the only son who bore his name, though not his surname, and a grandson, the strange Esteban García, who was destined to play a terrible role in the history of the family. (4.104)

Legal marriage and paternity are not the only ways we can understand "family" in this novel – whether he likes it or not, Esteban's relationship with Pancha García produces another branch of his family.

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