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The author did a really great job of establishing a clear picture right in the beginning of the story. For example, the paragraph,

Last night Monica Vigil-Rios had lain awake, listening to the wind whip across the salt flats and buffet the trailer, imagining intruders with dark intentions outside. They were living in a piece of aluminum foil, Monica thought. That paltry lock wouldn’t withstand a can opener.

allows the reader to automatically acquire some understanding of the family’s struggles. The author also gave each character a clear voice. You could really feel Monica’s internal struggles, Cordelia’s anger and resentment, and Elliot’s love and commitment to his family. I thought the scenes surrounding the dress were very interesting because the dress held so much of Monica’s past, yet she was so willing to give it away. It was a symbol of so many emotions and relationships that were at one time important to her. She realized that it was time to let it all go because her life has changed so much. I assumed she was going to give her dress to Cordelia, but instead she gave it to Amanda. Monica knew Amanda’s family had less of a chance for a successful future than her own family did. The fact that she then worries and somewhat regrets this decision gives so much depth to her character that the reader didn’t quite get before. It may have seemed like she had completely resigned her past, but she actually had not. I really enjoyed this story!

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