a mistake resulting from inattention
Dede apologizes for her
oversight and introduces the woman to her niece.
marked by uncontrolled excitement or emotion
The interview woman is
delirious at the good fortune of meeting both sister and daughter of the heroine of the Fourteenth of June underground.
willing to be taught or led or supervised or directed
She had always been the
docile middle child, used to following the lead.
The Latin "docere" means "to teach"--Dede is actually the second of four children, but her middle child docility is heightened by being surrounded by sisters, with the one immediately above her being very religious and the one after her being headstrong.
Compare with the antonymous "domineering" from this list.
rule or exercise power over in a cruel and autocratic manner
Her life had gotten bound up with a
domineering man, and so she shrank from the challenge her sisters were giving her.
Compare with "docile" from this list--the two example sentences seem to prove that opposites attract.
the time when something ends
She herself was preoccupied—by the births of their sons, by the family setbacks after Papa was jailed, by Papa’s sad
demise and death, by their own numerous business failures.
a large entrance or reception room or area
He left her sitting in the small
vestibule while he finished up with the delivery Dede could hear going on in the adjoining choir room.
a meeting planned at a certain time and place
She told herself that she was going to be late for her
marked by rude or peremptory shortness
curt in his greetings, even to Manolo, whom he had always liked.
estimate the nature, quality, ability or significance of
Dona Leila hurried out to
assess the porch.
the reestablishment of cordial relations
“We went to Jarabacoa,” Minerva reminded Manolo in a tight voice that suggested she disapproved of the
reconciliation he was engineering.
a situation in which no progress can be made
Her statement broke the
deadlock, though it was probably the last thing Minerva had intended.
tear down so as to make flat with the ground
He had not wanted Dede to accompany me either, but she said she could not allow me to
dismantle my house alone.
violate the sacred character of a place or language
All of it violated, broken,
a very intense and uncontrolled fire
And Nelson and Pedrito, seeing the
conflagration and fearing for Patria and the children, came running down from the hills, their hands over their heads, giving themselves up.
an expert able to appreciate a field
He had an emergency, he told Dede, but being a
connoisseur of fear, she guessed he was afraid.
The Old French "connoistre" means "to know" (which comes from the Latin "cognoscere" which means "to learn")--from these roots alone, the noun "connoisseur" would fit the example sentence, because Dede has experienced fear, so she knows how to recognize it in others. But because "connoisseur" is often used for an expert of the fine arts, connecting it to fear here gives the word an ironic tone.
extreme mental distress
But for now, she wanted to spare the child even a moment of further
incapable of being put up with
The screams from the wagon were
unbearable to hear.
take temporary possession of a security by legal authority
confiscating the two vehicles registered under a prisoner’s name.
an inability to sleep
It was not the naughty
insomnia that resulted from a trip out to the shed to listen to the contraband station.
a suggestion offered for acceptance or rejection
I guess I saw it as a clear-cut
proposition I was making El Jefe.
showing empathy or ready comprehension of others' states
Raulito was having one of his crying fits and Jacqueline, who is
empathic when it comes to tears, had joined in.
causing or marked by grief or anguish
“We cannot remain indifferent to the
grievous blows that have afflicted so many good Dominican homes...”
represented graphically by sketch or design or lines
The sun was shining through the stained glass window of John the Evangelist,
depicted in a loincloth some church ladies had complained was inappropriate, even in our tropical heat.
Inside, Dede and I could barely contain our
an inadequate payment
Capitan Victor Alicinio Pena was listed in the real estate transactions as having bought the old Gonzalez farm from the government for a
having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
I tried not to be
distracted, but to keep right on praying.
the patterns of stress and intonation in a language
I don’t know if I was praying as much as listening intently—trying to judge the success of my petition from every pause and
inflection in Pena’s voice.
a formal accusation against somebody
allegations against the government were lies.
lacking discretion; injudicious
That night as we walked in the garden, I admitted to Mama that I had made an
a worker who holds or is invested with an office
Finally, we were escorted down the hall by a nervous little
functionary, who kept checking his watch and motioning for us to hurry along.
tiresomely long; seemingly without end
All the way down that
interminable hall, Noris held tight to my hand.
the outcome of an event
consequence, there have been extra guards patrolling the hall outside our cell, so I didn’t dare write until tonight.
a union of interests or purposes among members of a group
Minerva and El Rayo cooked up this idea that everyone without exception was to wear a crucifix as a symbol of our
without a basis in reason or fact
Now she’d see that her fears were
a special advantage or benefit not enjoyed by all
Magdalena has taught me more about how
privileged I really am than all of Minerva’s lectures about class.
a reminder of past events
Some of them I’d taught how to write their names, so this is a real
memento of my time here.
peacefully resistant in response to injustice
Elsa had given me this book when I first got out of prison to show me, she said, that being
passive and gentle could be revolutionary.
using language effectively to please or persuade
What I needed was a shot of Fidel’s fiery
a wild and exciting undertaking
One night long ago, he had kept Manolo and me, as well as Elsa, in stitches with tales of his journalistic
made to seem smaller or less, especially in worth
That story was remembered my way, but I felt
diminished hearing it.
bring back into original existence, function, or position
It was the end of September before visiting days were
reinstated at La Victoria, and we got to see the men.
make up something artificial or untrue
We grew suspicious, for a stranger in our midst probably meant a SIM plant with a
having or showing arrogant superiority
Mama murmured her good days, but Dede gave the chauffeur the
imperious look of a mistress whose servant has disobeyed her wishes.
a relief from harm or discomfort
I felt giddy, as if I’d been granted a
reprieve from my worse fears.
being present everywhere at once
I had a brief, ludicrous picture of the old, rather heavy woman banging a SIM over the head with her
ubiquitous black purse.