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Chapter 7 excerpts

Belonging out of place



"The taxi continued up Apoquindo Avenue toward the cordillera.  Eugenia could see that its majestic peaks were now stripped of snow as the spring thaw came to an end.  When the avenue dead-ended at the old Dominican convent, its Sunday artisan fair overrun with bargain hunters, the driver turned right.  There, at the corner of the first block, was the house that doña Sara had described.  A small bungalow with large picture windows on all sides, it was surrounded by a stucco wall.  The blood-red geraniums planted along its top matched the hue of the tile roof."








Reaching into a pocket in the apron she wore over her flowing skirt, she brought out a small cloth bag and shook its contents into her large palm.

Copihues,” she said, holding out a pair of large, brilliant silver earrings for Laura to see.

“Take them,” she coaxed in answer to Laura’s sharp intake of breath. “They’re for you. Everyone says they’re the Chilean national flower, and it seemed like a good way to welcome you home. But it’s also true that copihues are a Mapuche flower, because they grow wild in our forests in the south, which is why they have been in our culture for hundreds of years.  Go ahead, try them on. Look at yourself in the mirror.”











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