I’ll Give You the Sun

by

Jandy Nelson

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on I’ll Give You the Sun can help.
The “rock star” of the sculpture world, Colombian sculptor Guillermo Garcia is a bear of a man whose recent heartbreak has caused him to retreat into his studio and refuse much contact with the outside world. When Jude shows up at his doorstep and asks to be taken on as a student, Guillermo senses the need in Jude’s plea and agrees to mentor her. Through their working relationship (and from the help of Guillermo’s charming young assistant, Oscar), Jude learns about art, drive, determination, and comes to realize that the adults are around her are often just as heartsick, just as lost, and just as fearful of letting go of their pain and sorrow as Jude herself is. It is eventually revealed that Dianna had been having an affair with Guillermo in the months leading up to her death, and was even planning on divorcing Benjamin to marry the sculptor—but because of her waffling back and forth, she put her heart’s desires on hold, and when she finally went to confess her intent to marry Guillermo to her husband, she was killed in a car accident. Passionate, volatile, dedicated, and deeply artistic, Guillermo becomes a sort of second father-figure to Jude, and retains her devotion and admiration even after the truth of his affair with her mother comes to light.

Guillermo Garcia Quotes in I’ll Give You the Sun

The I’ll Give You the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Guillermo Garcia or refer to Guillermo Garcia. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial Books edition of I’ll Give You the Sun published in 2014.
Chapter 4 Quotes

“This sculpture needs to be made so much you cry like this?”

I turn around. He’s leaning against the wall by the painting of the kiss, his arms crossed.

“Yes,” I gasp out, then say more calmly, “Yes.” Is he changing his mind? The sob begins to retreat.

He’s stroking his chin. His expression softens. “You need to make this sculpture so badly, you will risk your young life by sharing space with a disease-carrying cat?”

“Yes. Totally, yes. Please.”

“You are sure you want to forsake the warm, moist breath of clay for the cold, unforgiving eternity of stone.”

“I am sure.” Whatever that means.

“Come back tomorrow afternoon. Bring your portfolio and a sketchpad. And tell your brother to give you back the sun, trees, stars, all of it already. I think you need.”

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Guillermo Garcia (speaker)
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

“I’ve tried everything to get through to her, Guillermo. Absolutely everything. I have this weird book and I scour it for ideas nonstop. I’ve done it all. I’ve slept with her jewelry under my pillow. I’ve stood on the beach at midnight, holding up a picture of the two of us to a blue moon. I’ve written letters to her and put them in her coat pockets, in red mailboxes. I’ve thrown messages into storms. I recite her favorite poem to her every night before I go to bed. And all she does is break what I make. That’s how angry she is.” I’ve started to sweat. “It would kill me if she broke this.” My lips are trembling. Covering my mouth, I add, “It’s the one thing I have.”

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Dianna Sweetwine / Mom, Guillermo Garcia
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

“This afternoon I teach you to use the power tools. With these you must be so, so careful. The chisel, like life, allows for second chances. With the saws and drills, often there is no second chance.”

I stop walking. “You believe that? About second chances? In life, I mean.” […]

“Of course, why not? Even God, he have to make the world twice.” His hands take to the air. “He make the first world, decide it is a very terrible world he made, so he destroy with the flood. Then he try again, start it all over with—”

“With Noah,” I say, finishing his sentence.

“Yes, so if God can have two tries, why not us? Or three or three hundred tries.” He laughs under his breath. “You will see, only with the diamond blade circular saw do you have one chance.” He strokes his chin. “But even then sometimes you make a catastrophic mistake, you think I am going to kill myself because the sculpture is ruined, but in the end it come out more incredible than had you not made the mistake. This is why I love the rocks. When I sculpt with clay, it feel like cheating. It is too easy. It has no will of its own. The rocks are formidable. They stand up to you. It is a fair fight. Sometimes you win. Sometimes they win. Sometimes when they win, you win.”

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Guillermo Garcia (speaker), Noah Sweetwine
Page Number: 301-302
Explanation and Analysis:

I go outside and ask [Guillermo] to teach me how to use the diamond blade circular saw. He does.

It’s time for second chances. It’s time to remake the world.

Knowing I only have one shot to get it right with this tool, I wrap the cord around my shoulder, position the circular saw between Noah’s shoulder and my own, and turn on the power. The tool roars to life. My whole body vibrates with electricity as I split the rock in two.

So that NoahandJude becomes Noah and Jude.

“You kill them?” Guillermo says in disbelief.

“No, I saved them.”

Finally.

Related Characters: Jude Sweetwine (speaker), Guillermo Garcia (speaker), Noah Sweetwine
Page Number: 308-309
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

I glance around the room, sensing Mom so much, certain this is what she wanted. She knew we each held an essential part of the story that needed to be shared. She wanted me to know she saw the sculptures and only Guillermo could tell me that. She wanted Guillermo and Dad to hear the truth from Noah. She wanted me to tell Noah about CSA and maybe I wouldn’t have found the courage if I hadn’t come to Guillermo, if I hadn’t picked up a chisel and hammer. She wanted us in Guillermo’s life, and he in ours, because we are, each one of us for the other, a key to a door that otherwise would’ve remained locked forever.

Page Number: 367
Explanation and Analysis:

Our connection is still so natural, though now, for me, it’s tinged with guilt because of Dad. I turn back to my clay model, start caressing my mother’s shoulder into shape, her upper arm. “It’s like some part of me knew,” I tell him, working the bend of her elbow. “I don’t know what I knew, but I knew I was supposed to be here. You made me feel better too. So much better. I was so locked in.”

“This is what I think,” he says. “I think maybe Dianna, she break your bowls, so you come find a stone carver.”

I look at him. “Yeah,” I say, the back of my neck tingling. “Me too.”

Because who knows? Who knows anything? Who knows who’s pulling the strings? Or what is? Or how? Who knows if destiny is just how you tell yourself the story of your life? Another son might not have heard his mother’s last words as a prophecy but as drug-induced gibberish, forgotten soon after. Another girl might not have told herself a love story about a drawing her brother made. Who knows if Grandma really thought the first daffodils of spring were lucky or if she just wanted to go on walks with me through the woods? Who knows if she even believed in her bible at all or if she just preferred a world where hope and creativity and faith trump reason? Who knows if there are ghosts (sorry, Grandma) or just the living, breathing memories of your loved ones inside you, speaking to you, trying to get your attention by any means necessary? Who knows where the hell Ralph is? (Sorry, Oscar.) No one knows.

So we grapple with the mysteries, each in our own way.

Page Number: 369
Explanation and Analysis:
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I’ll Give You the Sun PDF

Guillermo Garcia Character Timeline in I’ll Give You the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Guillermo Garcia appears in I’ll Give You the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...wanders through the foggy streets of Lost Cove towards the address where the “master carver” Guillermo Garcia’s studio is, determined to ignore Sandy’s advice and talk to him herself. She has... (full context)
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
Cold, anxious, and damp, Jude begins growing nervous about how to approach Guillermo Garcia. She spots a church at the end of the block, and decides to go... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Soon, Jude is standing in front of the address where Guillermo Garcia’s studio is located. Grandma Sweetwine has disappeared, and Jude is alone. She knocks at... (full context)
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Garcia orders Jude to go away and then closes the door on her. Jude, frightened but... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Codependency  Theme Icon
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...that he once worked with a “barking maniac of a sculptor” by the name of Guillermo Garcia. He urges Noah to seek the man out and take lessons from him at... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Jude sits at her computer, looking up information about Guillermo Garcia on the internet. Meanwhile, she sucks on a lemon, hoping to nip her crush... (full context)
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Jude finds some images of Garcia’s work, and is amazed by his stone sculptures. As she stares rapturously at the pictures,... (full context)
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Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...computer screen—Jude notices that Noah has gone quiet, too. Looking back at the images of Garcia’s work, Jude remarks how “incredible” his sculptures are. Noah and Dad both make quick excuses,... (full context)
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...Jude wants to escape the chaos of the party, and decides to head out to Guillermo Garcia’s studio to ask him, once and for all, to mentor her. As she sets... (full context)
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Once at Garcia’s, Jude sees that the lights in the rooms at the back of the building are... (full context)
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Jude is mesmerized as she watches Garcia deftly mold the clay. She recalls elements of the things she’s read about him online:... (full context)
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Jude remembers reading a line from an interview-slash-profile her mother did of Garcia for an art magazine: “He’s the kind of man who walks into a room and... (full context)
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...returning home to sleep, Jude comes back to the fire escape early the next morning. Garcia is still in the studio—he hasn’t changed his clothes, and Jude wonders if he’s worked... (full context)
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...falls on her face—until she feels a hand reach out and grab her. It is Garcia, who has come out the front door, and Jude stutters and stumbles over her words... (full context)
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Jude is slightly nervous as she follows Guillermo through the dark, dusty halls of his home and studio, but is once again elated... (full context)
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Jude begins telling Guillermo about the game she and Noah played as children, in which they divided up the... (full context)
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Guillermo begins cleaning up—he is covered in clay from his long night of work. Jude reluctantly... (full context)
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Guillermo finishes washing up, and then takes Jude on a tour of the large studio space... (full context)
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Guillermo and Jude sit down for coffee, and Guillermo explains that when she came to him... (full context)
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Guillermo goes on, explaining that all he wants is to work—he doesn’t know if he’ll ever... (full context)
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Jude leaves Guillermo’s, elated that he has agreed to take her on as a student. As she walks... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
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...good looks, she tries to give it back, but he scampers up the steps to Guillermo’s. Jude places the orange in his helmet, telling herself to “snap out of it” and... (full context)
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The next afternoon, Jude lets herself into Guillermo’s and heads down the hall towards the studio. She is nervous—both to show Guillermo her... (full context)
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Oscar tells Jude that Guillermo saved his life once—a while ago, Guillermo found Oscar half-dead from pills and booze, sleeping... (full context)
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Jude eats a donut, and then Guillermo—addressing her as CJ—tells her it’s time to get to work. Jude asks Guillermo how he... (full context)
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...stands up and begins taking off his clothes. Jude is both confused and scandalized, until Guillermo explains that Oscar is going to pose as their model today—they are not going to... (full context)
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Oscar heads down the hall to the drawing studio while Guillermo sits down and begins looking through Jude’s sketchbook. When Guillermo gets to the blobs, Jude... (full context)
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Guillermo explains that when he looks at Jude’s blobs, he doesn’t see any of her in... (full context)
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Guillermo explains that Jude needs to start with clay and practice rocks before she moves on... (full context)
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In the smaller studio, Oscar disrobes while Jude experiences “penis-panic.” Guillermo instructs Jude to start drawing, and tells Oscar to change position every three minutes. As... (full context)
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...Jude begins drawing faster and faster, starting a new drawing every ten or fifteen seconds, Guillermo urges her on, reminding her of the wisdom of famous artists like Picasso and Michelangelo... (full context)
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Later, Jude is in another room waiting for Guillermo to return from an errand. Oscar, now fully clothed, peeks into the room and congratulates... (full context)
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Jude explores Guillermo’s home, pressing against a door that’s been left ajar and entering a study that looks... (full context)
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...of the room. She hears footsteps outside the study door, and smells smoke—she realizes that Guillermo must be having a cigarette just outside the room. She waits quietly in the dim... (full context)
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Jude goes into the larger studio to find Guillermo, who asks her if she’s ready for her life to change before allowing her to... (full context)
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...working on. Jude is reluctant to talk to Noah about anything she’s doing over at Guillermo’s, not wanting to be vulnerable with him and discuss her art. (full context)
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Jude arrives at Guillermo’s the next morning to find a note taped to the door—Be back soon, it says.... (full context)
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Grandma and Jude stare together at Guillermo’s wall mural of the entwined lovers, and Jude wonders aloud what it must be like... (full context)
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...dreams. As Jude looks at Oscar lovingly, he cracks a smile and tells her that Guillermo has recently warned him that he will “castrate” Oscar if he gets too close to... (full context)
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As Jude waits for Guillermo to return from his errand so that she can start carving, she feels as if,... (full context)
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When Guillermo returns, he and Jude begin their daily carving lesson. Jude attempts to throw herself into... (full context)
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Guillermo gives Jude a bag of clay and tells her to make a small-scale rendering of... (full context)
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An exhausted Jude heads back inside from the outdoor work area to find Guillermo, cursing in Spanish, pummeling a clay sculpture of a man. Guillermo finishes, then stands up... (full context)
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...a “nobody.” Jude, angry with herself, begins walking home. She is barely a block from Guillermo’s when she hears footsteps behind her. Believing they are Oscar’s, she turns around to confront... (full context)
Chapter 6
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
In the morning, Jude gets up and heads straight to Guillermo’s—she is determined to get “NoahandJude” out of her practice rock. When she arrives at the... (full context)
Art, Self-Expression, and Communication Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Fear Theme Icon
...the warehouse and goes to the church for an hour or so. When she returns, Guillermo and Oscar have stopped arguing—Guillermo, covered in white dust from carving stone, greets Jude and... (full context)
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Guillermo teaches Jude to use power tools on her rock rather than a hammer and chisel,... (full context)
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Guillermo offers Jude a cup of coffee and a short break, but Jude insists she needs... (full context)
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Jude returns outside and asks Guillermo to show her how to use the toughest tool he has—a diamond blade circular saw.... (full context)
Magic and the Supernatural  Theme Icon
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...hoping to have his first drink in nearly a year, depressed after his fight with Guillermo earlier—when Jude pushed through the crowd towards Noah, she knocked the drink out of his... (full context)
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...her desk finishing up the studies for Mom’s sculpture in preparation for showing them to Guillermo tomorrow. Noah is sleeping, and Oscar has gone home. She is so elated by her... (full context)
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...the right time—she is desperate to keep him from leaving. Oscar, though, says something about Guillermo, and practically dives out the window. Jude is confused and worried—she studies the photograph, in... (full context)
Chapter 7
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...heads down to Day Street, to the sculptor’s studio. He waits on the sidewalk until Guillermo comes out of the warehouse—when the man catches sight of Noah, he remarks how much... (full context)
Grief and Guilt Theme Icon
...embrace and tells him, to his face, that Dianna’s death is his fault. He tells Guillermo that Dianna told Noah she didn’t love Guillermo and wasn’t going to marry him. As... (full context)
Chapter 8
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The next morning, Jude arrives at Day Street with her sketchbook and presents Guillermo with the studies of her mother. As Guillermo flips through the drawings, he tenderly traces... (full context)
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Noah points at Guillermo and states that he killed Dianna. Oscar protests, asserting that no man has ever loved... (full context)
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...ask Dad for a divorce when she died, and that Dianna was planning on marrying Guillermo. As Jude looks at Guillermo, she can sense joy seeping out of him, and realizes... (full context)
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...a cement crumbling wall—there are images of her and Noah, of Brian, of Mom and Guillermo at the Wooden Bird, of Dad, of Heather, and Guillermo’s stone giants. Noah has been... (full context)
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...two thoughts: she is thrilled that her mother was able to find true happiness with Guillermo, but miserable and angry that her happiness was Dad’s unhappiness. At the same time, Jude... (full context)
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...Oscar as a model. Oscar and Dianna used to sit together in the church near Guillermo’s and talk—she would go “on and on about her twins.” Oscar tells Jude that he... (full context)
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The next day, Jude and Noah approach Guillermo’s studio. Jude reflects on her feelings about Guillermo—she has gone back and forth the last... (full context)
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...clean everything is—as they stand together in front of the painting on the wall of Guillermo and Dianna entwined in an embrace, Guillermo emerges from the next room and tells them... (full context)
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...realizes that all of the coincidences and collisions have perhaps not been so random—Dianna wanted Guillermo in her children’s lives and them in his, knowing that they are, “each one of... (full context)
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Guillermo sets Noah up with canvases and paint, and then goes to check on Jude, who... (full context)