Yolanda's journey of self-exploration is really just a metaphorical voyage—but it's one way in which her story can be matched up with a Booker Basic Plot.
Anticipation Stage ('Fall' into the other world)
Our heroine, Yolanda, is feeling lost. What culture does she belong to? She visits the Dominican Republic, hoping that it will turn out to be her home. But her trip doesn't turn out to be the homecoming she wished for. So Yolanda starts to search her past for other clues.
Initial Fascination or Dream Stage
Yolanda's getting into the rhythm of things. She wants to unravel her past like a blanket, "as if there were a stitch she missed, a mistake she made way back when she fell in love with her first man, and if only she could find it, maybe she could undo it" (1.3.178).
Okay, we're getting down to Yoyo's earliest memories here, and we still haven't figured out why she's unhappy. Hey, what does this terrible story about kitten torture have to do with anything? This is pretty alarming behavior for our heroine.
Yoyo isn't going to get away with that kitten torture. She's haunted for nights on end by the kitten's mother, who won't let her forget about the terrible thing she's done.
Oh, wait a second—this is the story Yolanda needed! She fast-forwards through time, back to the present day, with a clear new understanding of how the "violation" of the kitten shaped her identity and her art. Yolanda's venture into the past has completely changed her.