I really enjoyed this book...with some reservations.
Mainly, it is a story about a Monk who is well-respected and loved within his monastery and the wider community of Madrid, Spain. Because of his holiness, he eventually becomes the Abbot of the monastery and every week his church is filled past capacity with parishioners. But he has been in the monastery all of his life and has never experienced the temptations of the outside world to test his virtue. A lady, who desires the monk sexually, finds a way to infiltrate the monastery, and the affections of the monk, disguised as a monk. This is where the battle for his soul starts.
Overall, this is a great adventure story and it didn't take me very long to finish the ~900 ebook pages.
You might not like the story if you admire the Franciscan Order of Monks. Indeed, the most evil characters in the story are a high ranking person in a Capuchin monastery, no-less, and the other is a high-ranking nun from a convent of the order of St. Clare, the female version of the Franciscans. It's rather difficult to conceive that hyper-evil people would populate the austere Franciscan orders.
The author has chosen these Monastic orders to portray an important theme: that religiosity, even the most austere forms, does not protect one from the most pernicious temptation. Because the inclusion of super-evil Franciscans in the story forms an important theme for the author, it is renders super-evil Franciscans less ridiculous and gratuitous then it might be in the absence of a real purpose. Despite well-intentioned purposes, there still remains a very slight whiff of anti-Catholicism. Not being Catholic, I cannot say for sure how a Catholic might respond to this story. Personally, I see it as a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun.
I haven't read many erotic novels but I enjoyed this one. The female heroine finds herself in an array of sexual situations a woman of pleasure might encounter but there are no scenes of degradation. She emerges from the misfortunes of her life, as well as being thrust into the life of a woman of pleasure, a better person. Lots of great sex scenes...good fun.
One of the neatest twist stories ever. Quite spooky - and you won't ever forget it. Read it... you'll have to come back and read it again later, b/c you won't be able to forget it.
this was NOT a classic read. Even for a book written in the 1930's, it was incredibly annoyingly macho-male to the very end. The female roles were all pretty-girls with no brains who took the back seat; the book in itself was kinda dry and absolutely conventional. Wouldn't read it if I were you.
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