While chapter 1 began with a traumatic experience of a young immigrant, it ends with the author’s explanation of his intentions with the book, giving chapter 2 a restart, if you will. Here, a dramatic experience opens up the 2nd chapter. I wanted to give another story that we could feel. In this chapter we introduce Lidia, a leading character in the book and also the protagonist’s mother. This story starts off with a dramatic accident, a kid crying in pain and the relatives who blamed Lidia for the accident. Here, we get a glimpse into this family drama and really get to know Lidia and the pressure she was under. A situation that could bring any young mother to her breaking point, but not Lidia. This chapter displays how extraordinary Lidia truly is and we see her qualities unfold as she grows, before taking her four young children on the journey of a lifetime. Lidia is a very loving parent, but also very strict in bringing up her children.
The smacks in the face sometimes—as strange as that may sound—translated into nothing but pure love and concern and the urgency to raise her children right. She wanted to make sure, they turned out to be good mannered and well behaved, so to give them every and all opportunities in life. She was very young when she got married to my father but somehow realized even at that young age that she needed to protect her children in order to give them the opportunities they deserved, and her way of doing so was to raise very disciplined children. As you will see later on in my journey these values did pay off.
So now that you have heard a little bit about Lidia, my question to you as a reader is, how do you feel about her?
Who is she?
Who is Lidia to you?
From this very first chapter about her, what does she represent to you?
Why is Lidia so important for this book?
How is it that she kept focused on her dreams (for her and her children) under these circumstances?
Let’s think about how we feel about women that operate under a lot of restrictions and yet somehow manage to do miracles.