Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Staring at the scars on her legs made by her drunken father, Virginia wonders if words can make scars on her heart. (p. 32) What words would have made scars on Virginia's heart? How can her scars be healed?
The Doctorita verbally and physically abuses Virginia. Why does Virginia continue to stay with her when she has an opportunity to run away from her? How does the Doctorita convince Virginia that she can't leave?
To improve her self-image and attain her dreams, Virginia stops eating and begins to exercise constantly. Why does she think that being thin will change her life? What does Jose tell her to make her start eating again? (p. 139) Why does Virginia choose to believe him?
Why do the Doctorita and Carlos refuse to allow Virginia to have a boyfriend? How does Virginia defy them? What happens as a result of her defiance?
Watching the TV show "The Slave Isaura" causes Virginia to consider she might be a slave, but she notices that the Doctorita does not see herself as an evil master. Is Virginia a slave? Why or why not?
Virginia becomes afraid when Carlos begins to sexually harass her. How does Virginia deal with Carlos's unwanted advances? Why does he eventually stop?
When Virginia leaves the Doctorita and returns home, why is she so uncomfortable? What decisions does she make as a result of her inability to feel at home with her family? Why does she feel such shame about being an indígena? What do Virginia's choices say about her character?
Ultimately, Virginia's life transforms as she becomes a confident, successful young woman. How does her childhood help her become the Queen of Water? What life lessons does she learn as a result of her time spent with the Doctorita? How does she resolve the conflict between life in the two cultures?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Ember.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.
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