86 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2020

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Chapters 12-15

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 12 Summary: “Yahaira”

Yahaira reexamines Mami’s turbulent marriage to Papi. Yahaira had assumed the tension between her parents was her fault because she was so close with her father: “I used to think it was me, that Papi / & I had chess” (230). Now, Yahaira reconsiders the depths and nuance of her mother’s unhappiness as well as the possibility that her mother knew about her father’s second marriage.

Over dinner with her Tía Lidia, Yahaira says that she is rethinking schools she will apply too. Angered by Yahaira’s sudden announcement and the rift that has opened between them, Mami storms out of the room. Tía Lidia explains that Mami’s and Papi’s marriage was difficult and that now in the wake of his death, Mami is struggling to cope.

When Yahaira receives her sister’s friend request, she is stunned to learn that Papi had a second daughter as well as a second wife. Mami tells Yahaira that the other woman was her friend and how she met Papi through Camino’s mother. Mami tells Yahaira that due to her high status as a general’s daughter, Papi felt as though he was forced to hide his true nature with her: “But with her, with the woman who was my friend, / who was his childhood friend, he could take off the mask” (244).