Minerva had reluctantly chaperoned Dede and Jaimito and brought her cedula to be stamped.
contrary to or forbidden by law
But they did want to know if he had ever offered me any kind of
chastised him for suggesting such a thing about her sister.
delicate and intricate ornamentation
A small diamond set at the center of a gold
not having a material body
Lio’s whispers were eerie, a
disembodied voice from the dark interior of the car.
an early warning about a future event
I was sure I was having
premonitions that Lio had not escaped after all.
mixed feelings or emotions
I forgot my earlier
ambivalence, and I blamed Papa for everything: his young woman, his hurting Mama, his cooping me up while he went gallivanting around.
having a sophisticated charm
But the truth was, Mama looked old, even older than Papa with his dapper new hat and his linen guayaberas and his high black boots, and a
debonair cane that seemed more a self-important prop than a walking aid.
give in, as to influence or pressure
relented, but she insisted Pedrito and Patria go along to take care of me, and Jaimito and Dede go to make sure Patria and Pedrito did their job.
the comfort you feel when soothed in times of disappointment
consolation prize, I offered to bring her back another souvenir.
A "consolation prize" is usually given to someone who lost at something in order to make her feel better.
and nothing more
Papa hadn’t broken with this woman but
merely moved her off the grounds and into town.
characterized by conventionally acceptable morals
We drove down narrow streets, past row on row of
respectable little houses.
an ardent follower and admirer
My theory is that the god of thunder Huracan always acts up around the holiday of the Conquistador, who killed off all his Taino
a person who helps people or institutions
Manuel de Moya is supposed to be so smooth with the ladies, they probably think they’re following the example of the Virgencita if they bed down with the
Benefactor of the Fatherland.
a platform raised above the surrounding level
Only one reserved table is left in front of the
the act of pausing uncertainly
“It is really quite an honor,” he adds when he notes my
having or conferring glory
After the toast, the Spanish ambassador presents this
illustrious descendant of the great Conquistador with yet another medal.
spreading or spread throughout
I start to tell her about the hanky-panky I saw under the table, but the
pervasive Manuel de Moya is beside us again.
an often persistent bodily disorder or disease
Later, at the table, I listen to him make idle conversation with the old senator about the various
ailments they have both suffered.
tolerant or lenient
He gives me the
indulgent smile of an adult hearing an outrageous claim from a child.
suggest that someone is guilty
All the way home, I keep going over and over them as if I were an intelligence officer marking all the
request formally and in writing
We are driving around in the rain in San Francisco, getting our last-minute errands done before we leave for the capital this afternoon to
petition for Papa’s release.
separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
cleaving look in her eye is not just memory.
Note that this word has two definitions that are almost opposite: one means to cut in two and the other means to stick to.
examine or consider with attention and in detail
The general picks up a page from the folder and
Although "peruse" can also antonymously mean "to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner" the given definition is the one most often used.
twelve days after Christmas
She was saving it up for my
Epiphany present, but she saw me so upset at Papa’s funeral, she thought it would help me most now.
Held on January 6th, the festival celebrates the manifestation of the divine nature of Christ to the Gentiles (as represented by the Magi). In a general non-religious sense, an epiphany is "a sudden intuitive realization or perception of reality."
impossible to rectify or amend
Knowing as I do, the high esteem in which my husband Enrique Mirabal held your illustrious person, and now somewhat less confounded by the
irreparable loss of my unforgettable companero, I write to inform Your Excellency of his death on Monday, the fourteenth day of this month.
doing or producing good
Especially now, in this dark moment, we look to your beacon from our troubled waters and count on your
beneficent protection and wise counsel until we should breathe the very last breath of our own existence.
cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
This morning, Minerva came into the kitchen to get Manolo his cafecito, and her face was
suffused with a certain sweetness.
goods whose trade or possession is prohibited by law
I’m still worried she might have spotted our work, but Sonia says that woman has a different kind of
contraband in mind.
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
Maybe she’ll think it’s some sort of abortion
characteristic of this world rather than the spiritual world
The church, refusing as it did to get involved in
temporal matters, remained the only sanctuary.
The Latin "tempus" means "time"--the physical world and all the matters relating to it would be considered temporal in comparison to the eternal nature of the spiritual world.
close in time; about to occur
Ever since I’d had my vision of the Virgencita, I knew spirit was
imminent, and that the churches were just glass houses, or way stations on our road through this rocky life.
prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
yearning to be in the religious life stirred.
the quality of being bright and sending out rays of light
That room was silent with the fury of avenging angels sharpening their
radiance before they strike.
producing in abundance
It was in those old and
bountiful fields that Pedrito and his son and a few of the other men buried the boxes once we got them loaded and sealed.