How we cite our quotes:
[Mr. Pignati:] "She used to keep the house so clean," Mr. Pignati muttered, lowering his head.
I [Lorraine] squirmed slightly.
This is the second reference to Conchetta's having kept the house neat and clean. Lorraine knows what is coming – Mr. Pignati's confession that Conchetta is dead, not in California – and feels very uncomfortable.
[Lorraine:] We really went to work on the house and fixed it up better than ever before. The only room we didn't touch was the one with the pigs in it. There was something almost religious about that room, as though it contained a spirit that belonged only to Mr. Pignati, and it was best left alone. (12)
Both Lorraine and John have a feeling of respect for the pig room, which makes its destruction later, and their role in it, even more painful.
[Jane Appling:] "Saaaaaay, this is a nice house. Whose is it?" That's the kind of mind Jane has.
"My uncle's," I [John] told her, with just enough hesitation so she'd know I was lying. There's no point in having a house unless kids wonder how you got it. (13)
John is enjoying "having" a house. His use of this verb indicates how much he has come to think of the house as his. When Mr. Pignati said to John, "Make yourself at home," he probably didn't mean to this extent.