A love story from Paraguay to China passing through the Maestrazgo or Israel and that transcends beyond life, with touches of magic and mystery. A quick phrase to sum up the novel ‘El último jarrón azul’ which has just been presented at the ‘Casino de Agricultura’ by its author, Mercedes Casquero de la Cruz and its editor, the director of Editorial Sargantana, Paz Navarro. The essence of a novel which, as the author herself explains, tells of the deep love of Hugo and Alma which “continues beyond death, interrupted by a great tragedy” and adds: “there are more love stories in the novel, all of them tremendously human, exceptional, unique and sentimental stories”.
Several loves and several locations give a lot of rhythm to this novel. As well as taking place mainly in Maestrazgo, it also takes place in the first kingdom of Israel after the First Crusade, in what was once a Templar commandery. Another section is set in 17th century China, in the province of Juhan, in Tibet and in the magical city of Shambhala. In this way, we will accompany the protagonist on board a Spanish galleon, on the island of Tenerife and even in 18th century colonial Paraguay and the Jesuit missions, among other places. Mystery and magic are also involved because, as the author explains, “ghosts are the real protagonists”.
Mercedes Casquero de la Cruz was born in Manzanares (Ciudad Real) in 1942. She spent her childhood in Maestrazgo and lived in various places in Spain. A graduate in Medicine and Surgery, she specialised in child care and has practised in Valencia. She has also been a doctor for students with special educational needs in the Valencian Community; director of the ATS School of the Faculty of Medicine (Valencia); director of a Social Chair for the Absorption of Shantytowns in Madrid and participated in the drafting of the laws on patients’ rights in the Valencian Community.
She has published: ‘La Valencia sentida’; ‘Campos de trigo’; ‘Princesa Leonor Manuel’ (biography of Isabel de Villena). She has also written ‘El último jarrón azul’ (The Last Blue Vase). She has spent long periods of time in Paraguay. Hence her knowledge and love for that country.
About Casino de Agricultura: The Royal Valencian Society of Agriculture and Sports was founded in 1859 and was joined by the Royal Economic Society of Friends of the Country, as well as representatives of the university world for the “advancement” of Agriculture, Industry and the Arts. It continues today to carry out numerous cultural activities as well as having social correspondence with 60 clubs in Spain and 40 abroad. It has private members and companies that find a meeting point in its headquarters in C/ Comedias, as well as meeting rooms, conferences and different services that are now also part of this agreement.
Report by ‘24/7 Valencia’ team
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
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