I know this is a day late, however it is term paper season for me. But I digress. This was the quickest read for me this whole term. Having the book set in a very familiar surrounding kept me immersed while I was reading. I found myself trying to picture exactly which areas she was recalling and imagining what they would have looked like back in the late 70s or 80s. This helped me deal with the confusion of who was narrating half the time. I was confused as to who was speaking most of the time, but Rodriguez leaves big hints as to who is narrating. However, the book tied all the ends together in the closing chapter. I thought the use of opening and closing the book with letters written from the characters seemed to give the book a sense of coming together in a full circle.
Cooking seemed to be a big topic. It seemed to me to portray that it reminds the characters of the importance of their upbringing. Cooking entails that when you cook you activate all of your senses. The activation of these senses bring back memories and reminders of who you are. Cooking "native dishes" is a physical reminder for the characters. "Imagine that I even learned how to make empanadas! You know that I never made them while I lived in Chile, but here I had to learn and not only that, I had to learn how to make five hundred at a time!" (159). I found this to be a notable quote because it made me realize that I never realized how much I missed traditional home cooking and that I under appreciated it when it was being made for me.