I’m not as concerned about the endings or how people interpret them as I am in showing a change or shift—by the end of the story—in the characters’ hearts. Also, I think open endings require a little more work of the reader; that, when a scene or story is left open, the reader gets to imagine for him/herself how things might’ve turned out.
Among this book’s major themes and images is that of the house—that structure that is often what holds a family. What happens when that house is emptied of its inhabitants? When that house has grown vacant, or has become abandoned by the departure or passing of those who lived there?
Such images, alien to our suburban lives, along with her shifts into mixed Spanish and English, revealed how much my grandmother still lived in that other place. She denied wanting ever to return to Spain but followed news from her native country with keen interest, eager for the demise of the Franco dictatorship, an event she lived long enough to celebrate.
I met Jean Taylor when I was five years old. She was the tallest woman I had ever seen, and she walked slowly, with her head up and her shoulders back, her hips moving like the hips of a slender cat. She wore black slacks and she had big feet which seemed to me very graceful, especially when she wore her straw sandals with the artificial cherries on them.
“Simple images, such as the dandelion in the sidewalk crack or ice in lemonade, invite us to compare our own experience and find meaning where there was none before. More complex, but equally intangible experiences can be found in poems like ‘Rearrangements,’ which explores the aftereffects of covert child abuse, although each victim is different.”