The unique starts with the storyteller’s description of the curse, called fukú americanus– a curse of doom, particularly that of the New World. It was brought over to the islands of Antilles when the Europeans came, and has remained since. The narrator makes the claim that the late totalitarian, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, has a close connection with fukú. The narrator informs the reader that he will be informing us the story of Oscar de León, who was the victim of his family’s fukú. The only recognized method to neutralize a fukú is to utilize the term “zafa” to ward off the curse. The narrator then questions if composing this book is his way of saying a zafa.
The very first chapter, which occurs in 1974– 1987 in Paterson, New Jersey, details Oscar’s childhood and teenage years. For one week when Oscar is seven, he dates two girls, Maritza and Olga, at the same time. Nevertheless, the threesome quickly falls apart and Oscar’s life goes downhill after that. In teenage years, he is fat, dorky, and unsightly. Oscar’s interest in Genre makes him a lot more unfavorable, and his only friends are Al and Miggs. Oscar’s tío Rudolfo and Oscar’s sister Lola both try to motivate Oscar to reduce weight and be more manly so that he can land a sweetheart or a lay, but Oscar does not hearken their advice. When Al and Miggs find sweethearts and deliberately leave him out Oscar realizes that even they think that he is a loser. Oscar goes and visits his Nena Inca in Santo Domingo, and turns to composing science fiction as an outlet.
When Oscar returns he meets a lady called Ana Obregón at his SAT preparation class and falls for her. Ana and Oscar become good friends, however are never physically intimate. Eventually Ana’s sweetheart Manny returns from the army and Ana stops spending quality time with Oscar. Soon after, Oscar goes to college at Rutgers. Oscar hopes life in college will be various, but while there, he understands that he is still a loser.
The second chapter occurs in the years 1982-1985. It starts in Paterson, New Jersey. Lola narrates in the very first individual. She describes the day that Belicia (her mother) calls her into the bathroom to help her examine a lump that she has found in one of her big breasts. Lola gets a bruja, or witch, feeling that something is about to alter. After Belicia is diagnosed with cancer, Lola feels she has less power over her. At fourteen, Lola cuts all of her hair off in an act of defiance versus her mom. A major turning point in their relationship occurs when Lola slaps away Belicia’s hand when she is about to hit her. Not long after, Lola escapes to live with a young boy named Aldo on the shore in Wildwood, New Jersey. Lola loses her virginity to Aldo. Their relationship is rocky, and Aldo’s daddy is not much better to live with than Lola’s mom was. Lola gets lonely and calls Oscar. She asks him to meet her at a coffee shop on the boardwalk. When Oscar shows up, he brings their auntie and uncle and their mom. Lola then should live in Santo Domingo with her Nena Inca. There Lola attends high school, signing up with the track team and making buddies. She also dates a boy named Max Sánchez. Lola’s bruja sensation comes back, and she realizes that the relief from the feeling originates from the stories that La Inca tells her about her family’s past.
The third chapter happens in Santo Domingo in 1955-1962, when Belicia deals with La Inca and comes of age. The narrator begins the story right after Beli moves in with La Inca. He keeps in mind that before this Belicia lived a horrible life with an adoptive household that mistreated her. Beli attends the private elite school El Redentor, however she makes no pals and conjures up fear in others because of her unpredictable attitude, a toughness she embraced from her rough childhood.
When Beli hits adolescence, she develops big appealing breasts and guys start to express their desire for her. Beli then pursues her very long time crush, Jack Pujols, who is the most handsome boy at school. Quickly they are having sex in the broom closet. While Beli thinks that Pujols enjoys her and wants to wed her, in reality Pujols is currently promised to a rich lady. When they are captured, Pujols is punished and sent away to the army. Beli is sad. Beli then gets a task as a waitress at a Chinese restaurant called Palacio Peking. Belicia draws in two suitors during this time, however does not sleep with either of them. Then Belicia meets the Gangster, an older male who has a direct affiliation with Trujillo. Beli falls in love and winds up pregnant with the Gangster’s kid. The Gangster is wed to Trujillo’s sibling, who takes revenge on Beli by having her beaten and triggering her to miscarry. She is left for dead in a cane field, however a Mongoose with lion eyes appears and leads her out of the field. Beli then leaves the nation to reside in New york city City, and on the airplane ride there, she satisfies the guy who will end up being Oscar and Lola’s dad.
Chapter Four happens at Rutgers University, where Oscar attends college in the years 1988– 1992. Yunior begins the chapter by detailing how he got included with the de Leóns when Lola takes care of him after he is jumped and battered. Lola is worried about Oscar since he tried to commit suicide at the end of the previous year. Yunior accepts live with Oscar in the artistic dorm Demarest. Oscar and Yunior are not likely buddies, however they get along. When Yunior’s girlfriend dumps him since of his adultery, Yunior chooses to put his additional energy and time into forming Oscar up so he can have a better possibility at getting a lady, however Oscar loses interest part method through, and Yunior snaps with him.
Then Oscar falls for a Puerto Rican goth girl called Jenni Muñoz. They invest a great deal of time talking, however are never physically intimate. Jenni stops hanging out with Oscar when she discovers a partner, and Oscar acts out by tearing things off her wall and chewing out her. Soon after, he attempts to commit suicide by leaping off a train bridge in New Brunswick. Prior to he jumps he sees the Golden Mongoose, and he endures the fall since he arrive on the average. Oscar lives by himself for the fall semester of the next year, but then Yunior winds up in a relationship with Lola and moves back in with Oscar for the spring.
In the beginning of Section II, Lola speaks about her last days in Santo Domingo with La Inca before she needs to return home. Lola breaks contact with all buddies, and makes $2000 by sleeping with an older male. She then offers the $2000 to Max’s family when he passes away in a jaywalking accident.
Chapter five offers the details of Abelard Luis Cabral’s story, Belicia’s dad and Oscar and Lola’s grandfather. He is a successful medical professional wed to a nurse. They have two children together. They live an upscale lifestyle and typically interact socially in the exact same circle as Trujillo. Their earliest child, Jacquelyn, becomes a gorgeous female. Abelard starts to fear that Trujillo will wish to sleep with her (as he is understood to do). Abelard consults his partner, Socorro, his girlfriend Lydia, and his buddy Marcus, who all provide their own opinions on the topic, but Abelard takes no action. When Abelard is asked specifically to take Jacquelyn to a party, Abelard selects not to comply with the order. Not long after Abelard is detained for a “Bad Thing” he stated about Trujillo. The real reason for his arrest is unclear– it could also have been about his rejection to let Trujillo have his child, or about a book he wrote that claimed that Trujillo has supernatural powers. Abelard is sentenced to 18 years in prison. Socorro then finds out she is pregnant with their third daughter Belicia. After Belicia is born, Socorro passes away in a mishap and Belicia is adopted by Socorro’s family members, and is then passed on to another family to be their servant. Abelard’s other two daughters die in mysterious ways, and Abelard dies throughout his jail time. Beli is ultimately rescued by La Inca, who finds Beli in a chicken cage with a terrible burn on her back. La Inca brings her to Baní, nurses her back to health and civilizes her.
Chapter 6 occurs in the years after Oscar graduates from college, 1992– 1995. Oscar goes back to Paterson, New Jersey and lives with his mom. He gets a task teaching at his old high school, Don Bosco Tech. There he meets another teacher named Nataly who he becomes buddies with and whom he daydreams about, but she moves away. Oscar is really dissatisfied and depressed. After three years of this, Oscar decides one summer season that he will go to Santo Domingo with his mom, tío, and sibling.
The de Leóns go and stick with La Inca in La Capital where she now lives. Oscar has actually not been there in years and has actually forgotten how much he loves it– he especially enjoys how stunning the females are. He decides to stay for an extra month. During that month, he falls in love with a semiretired prostitute named Ybón. He becomes buddies with Ybón, but like his other relationships, they are not physically intimate. Ybón has a boyfriend, the capitán, and he is in the national police. One night when Oscar is driving them house from a bar, Ybón’s partner pulls them over. As quickly as they are pulled over Ybón jumps on Oscar and offers him his very first kiss, which is experienced by her boyfriend. Oscar is required to a walking cane field and beaten, but he endures. Ybón is beaten too, and she pertains to visit Oscar to let him know she will be marrying her sweetheart. Oscar’s mother books a flight for him to leave Santo Domingo.
When Oscar go back to New Jersey, he goes to check out Yunior in Washington Heights and he obtains cash from Yunior. Oscar uses the money to fly back to the Dominican Republic and pursue Ybón. Oscar spends twenty-seven days there in pursuit, and likewise looks into and composes a manuscript. At the end of the twenty-seven days, Oscar is required to a walking cane field and shot by 2 men who work closely with the capitán.
After Oscar’s death, Yunior and Lola break up. A year after Oscar’s death, Belicia dies of cancer. Yunior describes his life in Perth Amboy, where he is married and teaches innovative writing. He says he still sees Lola sometimes, and she is also married and has actually a child called Isis. Yunior wants to tell Isis everything about the history of her household, and to show her all of Oscar’s books and manuscripts.
Eight months after Oscar dies, Lola receives a plan consisting of 2 manuscripts. One has a few chapters from a science fiction Oscar was writing. The other is a letter to Lola in which Oscar says there will be another manuscript coming in the mail that will contain some sort of remedy, possibly to the fukú. The manuscript never ever gets here. Oscar also exposes that he was able to go on a journey alone with Ybón where he has sex with her and takes pleasure in the intimacies of a romantic relationship.