In Alba, all of the disparate characters in the novel come together. She embodies the intricate family ties that knit the story together. Alba is, either biologically or symbolically, Severo, Nivea, and Pedro Garcia's great-grand-daughter; Clara, Esteban, and Pedro Segundo's grand-daughter; Blanca, Pedro Tercero, and Jean de Satigny's daughter; Jaime, Nicolas, and Amanda's niece; Esteban Garcia's cousin; and Miguel's partner. Alba learns from and shares a loving relationship with all of her living relatives, with the possible exception of Esteban Garcia.

Alba's birth causes an imperceptible sweetening of Esteban Trueba's character, which Clara notices. While Clara's clairvoyance may allow her to perceive many thing others do not, the direct opposition of the words imperceptible and perceive move the situation a step further. In several instances in The House of the Spirits, similar contradictions are sustained. These play into the concept of magical realism: only by magic could Clara perceive the imperceptible and yet her perception is real and correct. As Clara is able to do many magic things, it will never be clear whether her noticing the change that Alba brings about in Esteban is the result of magical or of real"perception.

Esteban Garcia's reaction to Alba is symbolic both of her incredible effect on all those who meet her and of his voilent nature. While Alba does inspire some love in Esteban Garcia, it takes the form of lust, so that he repeatedly molests her. At the same time, his own enormous hatred is not completely removed, and he also tries to murder her each time they meet. It is only Alba's enormous luck that repeatedly removes her from Esteban Garcia's clutches just before he kills her.