Chita by Lafcadio Hearn follows an unusual narrative structure, in that things are relayed to the reader through flashbacks, flash forwards, and the use of frame devices. This creates an interesting pace because the reader is constantly moving through the timeline of the story to learn the various events that take place in the life of the main character, Chita, and those around her.
While we don't know exactly why the author chose this pace for Chita, we can make some educated guesses. One of the first reasons that the author might choose this kind of pacing would be to mirror the chaotic life of a character who was rescued from a hurricane, and who deals with problematic circumstances because of the events that have occurred in her life.
From the opening, in which the reader learns about the previous hurricane, to the growth of Chita and her eventual reunion with her father, which leads to tragedy, it can easily be said that the main character is a victim of the things that have happened to her. An unusual, unstructured pace therefore serves to drive home the fact that life is a series of events that are out of our control.