The year of the flood
Sister Consuelo had a perfectly innocent reason for going to call on Augusto Aixela, the rich landowner who lived up the hill from her convent: as Mother Superior, she was in charge of the hospital run by the sisters, and needed funds to start an Old People's Home - social provision in Franco's Spain left a great deal to charity. How a possibly too vigorous squire and an apparently self-possessed Mother Superior became involved in what others might term the baser passions, one sultry summer's afternoon, is the substance of this story. Chance enters the tale in the shape of some bandits who abduct the lady that same night as she is on her way to meet her lover. A misunderstanding between the parties results, which is destined never to be resolved - but neither is the nun's misunderstanding with her religious order. As in all Eduardo Mendoza's novels, so in The Year of the Flood, the touch is light, the humour a gentle undercurrent; but the true meaning and beauty that will strike the reader lie in the delicate description of two mature people who are a mystery, indeed an affront, to each other, who resort to feints and evasions in order to preserve an inner integrity that must ultimately be violated.
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added afternoon Aixela house Augusto Aixela bandit replied Barcelona Bassora brought Budalles Bursar burst Catalonia Civil Guard Civil Guardsman close coix Collbato dead rabbits Doctor Sufie Doctor Sune dogs Don Augusto door estate manager everything eyes face Falange feel felt flood garden gave glass hands happened head heard Hilario hospital housekeeper jeep landowner leave lemonade letter look Madrid maquis matter Mother Millas Mother Superior never no-one nodded nun's nuns old people's home once operating theatre outlaw Pallares parrot penicillin person pond Provincial Superior Pudenciana rain realise reason retorted Reverend Mother round San Ubaldo seemed Sergeant Lastre shepherd sighed silence Sister Consuelo asked Sister Consuelo replied sister Doorkeeper Sister Francisca smiled someone stared stood Sufie Sune sure talk tell thank there's things thought told took turned veranda village voice waiting walked wall woman worry