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This first book in The Spanish Trinity depicts the struggle to maintain a modern Catholic identity, in both a serious and comical light. Set in Sevilla, Spain, it is three diverse stories united by themes of personal integrity, Catholicism, and Spanish-American relations

From Catedral
“There were many things which happened to Mrs. Marquez as she grew old, but among the worst were sudden grips of fear-gone-bye, resurrected with a sound. It was only this that she seemed to receive from her memories and it only temporarily receded with the veil of small pleasures. She had held close to the church in the hope of showing that really, no, she did not deserve that; really, see, I am not so bad; really, look, I’ve reformed and I’m good. Mrs. Marquez was always good and she lived her life fine. It made no sense to her sons that she worried so, though they did not know it was guilt and theirs.”

From La Macarena
“And then Caesar had an idea. Caesar always had an idea. This one was simple. He wanted to go to Spain. Why not? He was always asking “Why not?” and why not? So it was again. He was not a man of means, he considered himself a man with connections. They weren’t firm connections, they were everywhere possible connections. Wherever he was, there they were. They didn’t know it, but the unsuspecting folk were a connection waiting to happen, and once made, they would be there later; he just couldn’t linger too long.”

From Puente De Triana
“One could never get used to the work. You knew someone was watching you do it and you only hoped they had bigger fish to fry. You assumed they did. And if they didn’t, they could always pay you to stop, but then you were part of their network. It was all disorienting if you lived in fear, so you had to be a bit bold. That I was.”