The Flesh and the Spirit – Synopsis
This work of historical fiction of 85000 words, divided into three parts, begins in Bradford, England. Part 1 – 1954 – introduces sixteen-year-old Lucy in her present time. Lucy lives with her grandparents, Mark and Annie, and grows up thinking her mother Rose died in childbirth and her father John soon after. Grandmother resents her, while grandfather lavishes affection on her. Lucy is a free spirit anxious to leave home. She falls in love with father Samuel, who finds himself halfway between Heaven and Hell. Because of her pregnancy, Sam leaves the church to marry her but is torn between God and Lucy. When Harry, a friend, introduces them to drugs, Sam and Lucy become addicted. Belinda is born. To protect the child, the grandfather takes her away. Samuel and Lucy, hooked on narcotics, join the Hippy movement with Harry, taking Belinda with them. Their life begins among other drugs users. A pregnant Lucy travels back home to have Thomas, leaving both children with her grandparents. Following an accident in their camp, they return home. The drugs take over until Sam, guilt-ridden for abandoning God, discovers the Peyote Church in the Arizona desert. Sam and Lucy set off, leaving the children with the grandparents. After an epic journey, they arrive at the Peyote Church. Contrary to Samuel’s expectations, he does not find a church but a refuge for mind and body. Ben, who runs the place, cures Lucy of her addiction using the peyote plant. Samuel becomes like a son to Ben. Hating himself for his betrayal of God, Sam searches for the purity of body and soul again. He refuses any physical contact with his wife and faces an excruciating ordeal in the desert. Lucy, rejected, returns to Bradford, where Mark, her dying grandfather, confesses he abused Rose, his daughter, resulting in Lucy’s birth. Part 2 reveals Rose’s past and the consequences of her father’s abuse. In Part 3 we find Lucy, who, destroyed by her past, goes back to the Peyote Church, then searches for a new life in the nearest town of Glade. She meets Rodrigo, a dealer in stolen diamonds, and they become lovers. He gives her a packet to hide. When some thugs kidnap him, Lucy retrieves the package containing rough diamonds. Aware she is in danger, she changes her name to Susy and accepts to go to New York with a stranger, David, marrying his nephew Alex. She sells the diamonds, travels to Paris with her husband to learn about scents, and opens a perfume salon, “La Magie.” Lucy is rich and famous until she finds Samuel, her husband, waiting for her. He reveals the truth to Alex destroying her life. Financially ruined and with her private life in pieces, she returns to Bradford. After she discloses her true paternity to her grandmother, she dies of a heart attack. Lucy rescues her children Annie had sent to the orphanage. When Thomas falls ill, Lucy spends any amount hoping for a cure for her son. Unable to go back to New York, she asks for Samuel’s help to take him to a specialist there. Thomas will recover, and Sam goes back to the desert. Lucy hires a private investigator, George, to find out the truth about her mother. He traces her, but Rose suffers from total memory loss. Lucy takes her home. After spending time with his children, Sam realises where he has gone wrong in his life and determines to make amends. He returns to Bradford to stay, finds work, and lives independently. For the children, they are still Auntie and Uncle. Lucy is broke, she cannot find a job, and the orphanage threatens to take back the kids. A thug from New York finds her: he has come for the diamonds or the money. He threatens her but has to leave with nothing. Lucy finds work, avoids a relationship with her boss, and reunites with Sam. The gradual recall of Rose’s memories causes her death. In the end, Lucy and Sam disclose their lives to their grown-up children, but bonded by love, all wrongs are forgotten. Forty years later, Samuel’s life comes to a gentle end.
The Flesh and the Spirit
The Flesh and the Spirit – Synopsis