In chapter seven, Chencha visits Tita and brings her some ox-tail soup. Once Tita takes one bite of the soup she regains some of her strength and is able to recall the recipe for the soup. Chencha tells her about the ranch and what has been happening there. Tita asks Chencha to return to the ranch to tell the people there she will never come back.
When Tita recovers, John Brown proposes to her and she says yes.
Chencha is not able to deliver the message from Tita on the ranch because some bandits attacked her and Mama Elena. Chencha is raped and Mama Elena becomes a paraplegic. Tita returns to the ranch after hearing of the attack and wants to help. Mama Elena refuses her help and her cooking. However, Mama Elena fires Chencha for lying to her about Tita's cooking and Tita ends up taking care of her mother. Her mother dies within a month because she took too much ipecac when she was worried about Tita's food poisoning her.
Tita is very sad about the death of her mother regardless of how her mother treated her. When Tita was preparing for the funeral, she found a set of keys that opened a box of love letters. She saw the the love letters were between her mother and a biracial man. She also learned that Mama Elena's parents forbid the relationship and forced her to marry Tita's father. Mama Elena continued her relationship as an affair, got pregnant, and the man was murdered. As a result, Mama Elena returned to her marriage. After reading these letters and learning of her mother's past, Tita is torn. She does not know if she should marry John Brown or be with Pedro. Now that Mama Elena is dead, Pedro is determined to be with Tita.