Hector’s Talent for Miracles

(written under pseudonym Kitty Harri)

The small Spanish town of Torre de Burros is known to pilgrims all over the world for its miracles. There lives the town eccentric and social outcast, young Hector Martinez, together with his mother and grandmother.

Mair Watkins, a disgruntelled veterinary surgeon from Wales arrives in town in a clapped-out yellow Beetle. She is on a sabbatical, with a mission to find traces of her errant grandfather who was last seen in Torre de Burros in 1939 whilst volunteering with the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.

Hector offers to help her, but a budding romance between the two creates a malevolent stir in the town. 

With Hector’s help Mair begins to peel away the layers of silence, deceit and hypocrisy to uncover the fate of her grandfather. In the process Hector discovers the devastating reason for his shunning, the dark secrets that his mother and grandmother have kept from him and that have haunted his life to date.

Together, Mair and Hector find their own freedom, suppressed by decades of guilt and silence.

Hector’s Talent for Miracles is not my usual genre, but I felt compelled to write this story. It grew out of my strong connection with Spain, its language and its people, and, as archives and mass graves are revealed, the world’s growing fascination with one of the most terrible events in Europe’s history, The Spanish Civil War. I lived in Spain under Franco’s rule, and met many victims of the regime with its vigilance, paranoia and religious oppression. Hector was a man I knew, modelled from these dark forces.           

    Kitty Sewell

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