The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
Minerva is a girl not much older than Esperanza, but she's already married and has two kids. Minerva and Esperanza hang out and read each other's poetry. But Minerva always has a lot of drama going on – first her husband leaves, then he comes back. Then he leaves again. Etcetera. Esperanza says Minerva is always "sad like a house on fire," a phrase that we really like – it totally conveys the stress and drama of Minerva's domestic life (33.2). After a particularly tumultuous breakup and reunion with her husband, Minerva shows up at Esperanza's house covered in bruises, asking for advice. Esperanza feels powerless – we get the feeling she'd like to tell Minerva that she's the one who needs to get her act together and tell her loser husband to leave for good.