1. What are the effects of the double narration? Do you believe one voice more than the other? Does it help create sympathy for Esteban to have his voice as one of the narrators? Consider how the epilogue may change your view of the narration.

2. What is the significance of the characters' names? Think about both first and last names. Consider not only what they mean, but also how they relate to one another. What is the effect of so much repetition in the names?

3. What is the novel's political message? What are the political positions of the most sympathetic characters? What are the political positions of the least sympathetic characters? ow do political beliefs, practices, or events affect the lives of the characters?

4. Compare and contrast the characters of Jaime and Nicolas. Consider the significance of their being twins. What is their role in the story? Think about how they are different from the other male characters.