* * * * * * *.
Sarah learns more about herself when she stars as the demanding and spoiled Princess Esmeralda in a school play:
During the second act, I order everyone around and lose my temper with [my little sister and hated rival Betty in real life] the Infanta for crying so much. She cowers by the table and collapses into herself.
Look what we did to her, [the voice of] Esmeralda says. See how small and pathetic she is?
Or she’s just a good actress, I say...
I curse my stepmother and ignore her advice to control my temper...When the Infanta confesses her love for the ugly, twisted dwarf [who entertains the guests at her birthday party], I push her down on the floor and yell at her for wanting to marry such a wretch. Betty’s jaw drops.
You didn’t know your own strength, Esmeralda crows...
[After the performance is over] I drift away to the dressing room. My shoulders ache, and I'm tired. I wipe away my lipstick and study my face in the mirror. I look disappointed. Esmeralda is gone.
The real program from the play described in Chapters 26-29 in which Sarah surprises herself.