The diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus begins on July 15, 1955, the birthday of her youngest child and only daughter, Vera Eunice. Carolina writes that she wants to buy shoes for Vera Eunice, but has no money. Instead, she finds some in the garbage, cleans them and patches them for the little girl. On any given day, Carolina goes for water at a public spigot, and then faces a day that typically involves a search for a way to feed her family.
During the day, she usually finds time to write and to read. She says that she intends to fight her way out of the terrible life she lives by selling her writing.This study guide includes the following sections: Plot Summary, Chapter Summaries & Analysis, Characters, Objects/Places, Themes, Style, Quotes, and Topics for Discussion.