Chapter 1 of Victor Martinez's novel "Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida" focuses on the main character Manuel, who is experiencing dissatisfaction with his life. Chapter 2 details the bar and pool hall, which is the favorite spot of Manny's alcoholic, abusive father. Chapter 3 is about Manny's experience of leaving his old school.
In Chapter 4, Manny's father is humiliated by his mother when she forces him to leave the pool hall. In Chapter 5, Manny remembers his grandmother's garden. Chapter 6 focuses on Manny's father and mother. His father threatens his mother with a rifle, and then he gets arrested. Manny and his friend Albert are recruited for a gang called Lencho's Boxing Team in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 details Manny's sister Magda's experience of having a premature baby. The baby dies at birth in the bathroom, and Magda faints. In Chapter 9, Dorothy invites Manny to a party. Chapter 10 focuses on Manny's longing for a girlfriend. In Chapter 11, the culmination of the story, Manny sneaks out of the house to be with the gang. Afterwards he realizes that he has made the wrong choice and that what he truly wants is to stay close to his home and his family.