An Excerpt from my Novel, The Monarchs

My novel, The Monarchs, was recently published. One of its focal points is the annual migration of a retired couple to Mexico to seek alleviation for the husband’s bout with cancer.


When the couple first discover their hotel on their first trip to San Miguel de Allende, they learn about Mexican architecture as displayed in the following passage:

The hotel looked unimpressive from the outside; what looked like chipped stucco. An iron-wrought gate was etched into the wall.

Robert felt a little disappointed as he handed the very appreciative driver 30 pesos and went running ahead, leaving Sharon and the driver to unpack.

“Enfermo,” Sharon told the puzzled driver, motioning her head towards Robert’s departure. “Not feeling well.”

Once inside the complex, Sharon’s eyes lit up. Off to one side was a tiny reception desk; quite a contrast to the massive ones in hotel chains like the Sheraton. Taking up space in a huge courtyard were plants and flowers, cages of birds, and large ceramic pots. Narrow pathways weaved throughout the greenery, leaving hardly any walking space. In fact, even where ceramic tiles were, potted plants covered the walkways. A spewing fountain, perhaps representing the Mar of the hotel’s title, was in the middle of the courtyard. Because of the extensive foliage in front of her, Sharon could only make out the top of the fountain but she could certainly hear the spattering of water on water. Right beside her was a succulent hibiscus, gorgeously red with tiny yellow spores. She remembered Robert commenting on how he’d love to live somewhere where the plants could stay outside all year round.

Robert and Sharon go on to discover other beautiful aspects of Mexico, characteristics that, in some way, help them cope with Robert’s pain.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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