Damaris unflinchingly describes a lifetime of abandonments and disappointment and hopes to have found a subject for her affection in a puppy named after the daughter she never had. The ever present threat of the jungle and the sea add to the uneasy atmosphere. This is not a light-hearted read about a cute puppy, but a harsh, direct story of grief and guilt and how they can shape people.
Damaris barely left the shack. She spent all day shut in watching television on a mat she laid out on the floor; outside, meanwhile, the sea swelled and receded; the rain poured down on the world; and the jungle, so menacing, was all around her without comforting her, like her husband, who slept in another room and didn't ask what was the matter, and her cousin who only came over to criticize her, and the mother who'd gone to Buenaventura and then died, and the pup, who she'd raised only to be abandoned by her.