Extract from “Saying Nothing”. An unusual romance, set in Spain.
“Saying Nothing” by Catherine Broughton is a novel set in Spain. A recent review: I just didn’t know what to think about the decisions the young woman, “Jane”, in this book made, and I blew hot and cold over her. It is a love story that is quite different from the norm, and I really enjoyed it. The author weaves the different personalities through the plot, and the plot is clever. The story unfolds in an unusual way. Some of the descriptions were brilliant too. I think perhaps I didn’t agree with what “Jane” did … it would be interesting to know what other readers think!
…. How pleased good old Prisca will be, thought Marie-Carmen as the taxi wove it’s way out of Marbella, if I go home with a couple of children! How thrilled she would be! How wonderful to watch them run round and round the verandah, just as I did as a child.
The taxi driver’s voice filtered through to her – are you on holiday, he had asked conversationally.
“Yes,” she replied in English, “I’m on vacation.”
“Americana?” he then asked, beaming at her through the rear-view mirror. A front tooth was missing.
Don’t worry, Marie-Carmen thought to herself, you’ll get your tip, if that’s what your angling at.
“Si.” she said.
“¿Hablas espanol?” he then asked – do you speak Spanish?
The question startled her not just for it’s directness but also because he had used the familiar tense, as though he was an old friend.
“Very little,” she replied again in English.
Cheeky so-and-so she thought vaguely, but her monosyllabic answers silenced him and he made no further attempt at conversation.
The taxi sped along the main road out past Jose Banus where the yachts bobbed luxuriously alongside boutiques and restaurants. San Pedro appeared ahead of them, once a small fishing village, and struggling to retain it’s identity in this new tourist-drenched world. Marie-Carmen liked San Pedro best of all the towns along this coastline. Agapanthus and oleander, franfi pangi and hibiscus lined the streets. An unlikely-looking shop called ‘The Drug Store’ imposed itself on one side of the little high street, where there were a couple of bars and a restaurant.
“Turn right here,” she told the taxi driver.
They turned off the main road and went straight through to the west side of the little town, taking another right turn up towards the exclusive hillside area called el Madronal. The road led steeply uphill for a while and villas of all dimensions and all splendors started to appear, discreetly clustered over the parched hills, in among the palms and the pines.
“Aqui!” she said suddenly.
The taxi stopped and Marie-Carmen alighted.
“Espere-me“, she said – ‘wait for me.’
Perching her sun-hat on her head, she walked away further up the hill a little and then stepped onto the grassy verge and looked down between the trees at the roof top of a villa, a little further down the hill, sitting undisturbed and neglected in an over-grown garden. The south side of the villa stood in the shade of tall acacia trees, their sweet-sour smell filling the air even up to where she was standing. The remains of a driveway could be picked out, winding it’s way along the hill, even falling away in places, lined with orange trees, dusty, lonely. She couldn’t see but supposed that beyond this the land fell away steeply back towards San Pedro, with a view over the rooftops to the huge beckoning sea.
Of the villa itself only the roof could be seen, a large L-shaped roof in reasonable condition and covered in places with jasmine that had gone wild….
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