Lola returns as narrator for the brief interlude that opens Part II. After fourteen months in the Dominican Republic, La Inca told Lola she needed to return to New Jersey. Lola grew depressed during the final weeks of her stay. She quit the track team and dumped Max Sánchez. She also convinced an older man to pay her two thousand dollars in exchange for sex. She planned to use the money to travel to Japan or Goa.
Lola’s mother came Santo Domingo to collect her. Though her time in the Dominican Republic had helped Lola develop her confidence, the first thing her mother said was that she looked ugly. Lola imagined running away once they returned to New Jersey. In hindsight, however, she realizes that running away was impossible: “If the years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”
Just before she left Santo Domingo, Lola learned that her ex-boyfriend, Max, had died in a traffic accident. Grief stricken, she gave her two thousand dollars to Max’s mother. Lola cried on the plane back to the United States. Other passengers complained, and her mother ignored her.
Summary: Chapter 5, “The Famous Doctor” through “And So?”
Yunior resumes the narration in Chapter 5, which recounts the story of Lola and Oscar’s grandfather Abelard Luis Cabral in the years 1944–1946.
Abelard was a gifted surgeon. After completing his medical studies in Mexico, he returned to the Dominican Republic and started a family. The Cabrals were wealthy and well-respected. They lived in a massive home called Casa Hatüey, which Abelard had built in the town of La Vega. Abelard also had an Art Deco–style apartment in the nearby town of Santiago where he spent his weekends attending to businesses he ran there. His wife, Socorro, was a skilled nurse practitioner with whom he ran a private medical practice. Together they had two daughters: Jacquelyn and Astrid. Abelard had a special fondness for his elder daughter, Jacquelyn, who had inherited her mother’s beauty and her father’s intelligence.