The Poet's Wife

By Rebecca Stonehill

Historical fiction, General fiction, Literary fiction, Romance

Paperback, eBook

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1 mins



Summer 1920

My daughter Isabel is born on a day of fire-breathing wind that gusts in hot, furious eddies through Granada. Rather than the heat dissipating by seven in the evening, it has gathered enough momentum and strength to power a steam engine and thus, my first labour is long and arduous. I fix my eyes upon the soaring cypresses and parched mountains through the open window whilst try- ing to control my breathing, loud exhalations punctuated by the sound of Eduardo thumping up and down the stairs.

'Eduardo, por el amor de Dios, stay still!’ I scream between contractions, horrified to hear my profane use of the Lord’s name but powerless to prevent it.

‘I’m trying! What can I do?’ he cries through the closed door as his voice crescendos with panic. ‘Just tell me, por favor, what can I do?’

‘I should like you to stop your pacing for a start and – Jesús!’ A shaft of pain tears through my body and as I double over the midwife mutters something about never before having heard such obscene language and, brushing her hands together announces the baby is on its way out. As I push and scream the name of every saint I can remember and strain my child into the world, I envisage the green-grey eyes of my husband on the other side of the door, the only man I have ever loved.



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