The story is told from one character's perspective.
In the novel, that character is Salamanca Tree Hiddle. For much of the story, we know her as Sal.
She is thirteen years old when the novel begins. For...
Sal, life has been difficult since her mother left. Despite her sense of foreboding, she decides to travel with her paternal grandparents to visit her mother, who is "resting peacefully" in Lewiston, Idaho. By the end of the story, we learn how Sal's mother died.
Here are some clues from the text that we're dealing with a first-person point of view:
But I had decided to go and I would go, and I had to be there by my mother's birthday. This was extremely important. I believed that if there was any chance of bringing my mother back home it would happen on her birthday. If I had said this aloud to my father or to my grandparents, they would have said that I might as well try to catch a fish in the air, so I did not say it aloud. But I believed it. Sometimes I am as ornery and stubborn as an old donkey. My father says I lean on broken reeds and will get a face full, of swamp mud one day.
I, Salamanca Tree Hiddle, was afraid of lots and lots of things.For example, I was terrified of car accidents, death, cancer, brain tumors nuclear war, pregnant women, loud noises, strict teachers, elevators, and scads of other things But I was not afraid of spiders, snakes and wasps Phoebe, and nearly everyone else in my new class did not have much fondness for these creatures.
From the above quotes, we can see that Sal tells the story from her point of view. The pronoun "I" is used copiously.
Throughout the story, Sal speaks in the first person to tell us how she feels about losing her mother and how she feels about everyone in her life. She shares that her mother enjoyed Native American stories and that her favorite ones were always of people who came back to life after they died.
Later in the story, Sal learns that Mrs. Margaret Cadaver was the only survivor of the crash that killed her mother. This is why her father spent so much time with Mrs. Cadaver: she was the only link to his wife before the accident. For Sal, however, there is a little more to think about. She begins to wonder if her father will marry Mrs. Cadaver.
"Do you love him?" I had asked Mrs. Cadaver. "Are you going to marryhim?"
"Goodness!" she said. "It's a little early for that. He is holding on to me because I was with your mother and held her hand in her last moments. Your father isn't ready to love anyone else yet. Your mother was one of a kind."
That's true. She was.
And even though Mrs. Cadaver had told me all this and had told me how she had been with my mother in her last minutes, I still did not believe that my mother was actually dead. I still thought that there might have been a mistake. I don't know what I had hoped to find in Lewiston. Maybe I expected that I would see her walking through a field and I would call to her and she would say "Oh, Salamanca, my left arm," and "Oh, Salamanca, take me home."
In the above quotes, Sal relates her conversation with Mrs. Cadaver. You can see that she speaks in the first person, using "I" many times. The conversation is also important because it highlights a young girl's emotions about discovering the true circumstances of her mother's death.