It begins! The Monkalong (The Monk Readalong). Here we start with Chapter 1 and 2.
Chapter One: Hey, I just met you and this is crazy. But here is everything about my sister’s baby!We start things off it a Madrid church, because I guess that’s technically where you’d find monks, but I was really hoping for an abbey in a swamp. Anyway, two ladies walk into a church, an older woman and a veiled lady. The older one elbows her way to the front, because it’s standing room only, as everyone is there to hear the rock star preacher-monk.
While they are staring at her, the older woman, Leonella, introduces the girl as her niece Antonia, and proceeds to give them the girl’s life story. Her parents were a nobleman and a shoemaker’s daughter, who secretly married. When found out, they abandoned their two year old son and escaped to the Indies. After thirteen years, her father died and her mother returned to Spain with baby Antonia.
Then the dudes tell them all about the rock star monk. He was abandoned as a baby at an abbey and raised by monks. And now he’s thirty years old, which coincidently would be the age of Antonia’s brother if he hadn’t died right after being abandoned. I’m sure these two things are completely unrelated. They couldn’t be the same person, surely not!
The monk gives his sermon and people are moved. Antonia is really moved!
Antonia, while She gazed upon him eagerly, felt a pleasure fluttering in her bosom which till then had been unknown to her, and for which She in vain endeavoured to account.Oh my, Antonia! This is going to be a problem.
(The order of the following events is different in the audiobook version from the Kindle version.)
After the ladies leave, they run into a fortune teller. She tells Leonella that at fifty-one, she’s too old for love. That does not go over well. For Antonia, she gives her a grim prophecy:
You would be some good Man's blessing:
But Alas! This line discovers,
That destruction o'er you hovers;
Lustful Man and crafty Devil
Will combine to work your evil;
There’s some stuff about Lorenzo’s gloomy dream/vision wedding to Antonia. yada yada After which he spies his sister Agnes, a nun, leave a letter for some guy under a statue. The guy turns out to be someone Lorenzo knows: Raymond de las Cisternas. Before it’s pistols at dawn, Raymond says he has an explanation.
Chapter Two: Brought to you by the word “bosom”
The monk, Ambrosio, sits in his room and congratulates himself on never being tempted even though the ladies throw themselves at him all the time. In walks in Rosario, a mysterious guy who keeps his face hidden. It’s clear that Rosario is an Ambrosio Superfan.
Later Ambrosio, sees Agnes drop a letter which he reads and Scandal! Agnes is preggers! She begs for mercy because she’s going to marry Raymond who is an old boyfriend, but he tells the prioress to punish her anyway. Agnes curses him with the Curse of Temptation.
Not five minutes later, Rosario reveals that she’s been a girl all along. (I honestly thought he was gay.) Her real name is Matilda and she’s a stalker. She’s been planning on getting close to him for years, but it’s not a sex thing. She just needs to be near him and stuff. He says no way! She threatens to kill herself, produces a knife, and releases her bosom. Ambrosio has never seen a bosom before, so of course it haunts his dreams that night.
In the morning he tells her that she has to go. Her bosoms are too much of a temptation, etc. He reaches to pick her a flower to remember him by, and is bitten by a deadly snake. Everyone prepares for his death but Matilda nurses him back to health. In his feverish state, he realizes that she looks just like the portrait of the Madonna he loves. Why? Because she secretly had it made for him and got him to buy it in some convoluted plan. Expert stalker achievement unlocked.
|This Madonna and her bosoms approve of this nutty plan|
Matilda starts to feel ill. She reveals that to save him she sucked the poison out of his wound and she is to die! But before that, she’d like some of that sweet, sweet monk lovin’. Ambrosio feels really bad*bosom* about her dying*bosom* for him, and *bosoms*, so he falls upon her bosom.
|My interpretation of these events|
A monk saying “I can’t be tempted” is like a detective in a movie saying, “I’m a week away from retirement.” It’s tempting fate. As soon as he said it, I knew he was doomed.
What’s going to happen to poor Agnes? I don’t know why they just didn’t sneak her out the back door. It would solve everyone’s problem. Now they have a pregnant nun to hide.
I did not see that Rosario thing coming. I thought he was hiding from the law, but also lusting after Ambrosio. I literally said, “Oooooh!” when she pulled back her cloak. Girl has issues.
I’d bet American dollars that Antonia and Ambrosio are brother and sister.
Lots of foreshadowing: the dream/vision, the fortune teller. I see bad things for Antonia.
I’m curious to see what will happen now that Mr Monk has done the deed. Probably blame it all on Matilda. Never sleep with your stalker, dude. It can’t end well.