October 10 , 2008



In "Mariquita" John Ayscough describes how a simple solitary girl, half Puritan, half Spaniard, with a dash of Indian blood, on a ranch in Western America develops a vocation for the contemplative life and finally becomes a Carmelite nun. The incidents and characters are few, but the heroine is winningly portrayed with her irresistible urge towards the Divine. The story inculcates the lesson that lives are primarily important and influential by what they are. John Ayscough's shrewdness and charity find happy scope in the sketch of Mariquita's father, Don Joaquin, a strange but not unlovable blend of skinflint and hidalgo. There is a fine eulogy of the contemplative life in this novel, which is a book with a delicate savor for quiet tastes.

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