- Values Dissonance: "El Negro"'s nickname is not exactly seen as a racist epithet, just a normal nickname for a dark-skinned dude with a case of No Name Given. While it can be certainly seen as racist in Latin America as well, whether it is or not depends very heavily on the circumstances when it's used: it can go from a massive slur almost on par with the N Word to a simple Affectionate Nickname.
- While the treatment of Melecio within the story is mostly sympathetic, the first half of the book uses male pronouns for her. Thankfully, once Eva finds her again as Mimi, the narrative switches to female ones. This may have happened because Melecio being able to actually transition is a huge spoiler in itself.
- Values Resonance: The book's sympathetic treatment of trans sexuality through the existence of Melecio, the kind male-to-female one that becomes Eva's Cool Big Sis.
- Also, everyone can get behind the wish for freedom and democracy that several characters have in the story. Specially meaningful considering that it was written in 1985, where Latin-American dictatorships were starting to be dismantled.
- What an Idiot: Eva is normally very level-headed, but giving Zulema's lifeless body a Due to the Dead treatment in the worst moment possible qualifies as this. It really doesn't help her case when she's mistakenly accused of murdering her.
- The Woobie: Melecio. Oh, Melecio. Also Jochen, Katharina and Riad Halabi.
- Iron Woobie: Eva, Rolf, InÚs the school teacher. Melecio or better said Mimi eventually evolves into this.
- Jerk Ass Woobie: Huberto Naranjo, La Madrina. Zulema may qualify as this: sure, she's a rather self-absorbed woman and once massively cheats on Riad, but even Eva feels like crap for her when she crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
- Stoic Woobie: Eva's mother Consuelo and Rolf's mother.