La dama azul (The Lady in Blue) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Javier Sierra, autor del bestseller internacional LA CENA SECRETA, nos ofrece ahora una novela de misterio e intriga sobre una de las leyendas más antiguas y extrañas de América -la dama azul.

En Los Ángeles, Jennifer Narody, antigua espía del Departamento de Defensa, sueña repetidamente con una fantasmagórica mujer vestida de azul. Jennifer no lo sabe, pero ese mismo espíritu se apareció más de tres siglos atrás a los jefes de una tribu ...
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La dama azul (The Lady in Blue)

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Overview

Javier Sierra, autor del bestseller internacional LA CENA SECRETA, nos ofrece ahora una novela de misterio e intriga sobre una de las leyendas más antiguas y extrañas de América -la dama azul.

En Los Ángeles, Jennifer Narody, antigua espía del Departamento de Defensa, sueña repetidamente con una fantasmagórica mujer vestida de azul. Jennifer no lo sabe, pero ese mismo espíritu se apareció más de tres siglos atrás a los jefes de una tribu indígena de Nuevo México. Al parecer, la verdadera responsable de aquellos sucesos fue una monja española que podía "bilocarse" -esto es, que tenía la habilidad de estar en dos lugares a la vez.

Mientras, en España, una nevada deja aislado al periodista Carlos Albert en el remoto pueblo de Ágreda. Allí conocerá el convento que fundó en el siglo XVII aquella mujer de hábitos azules. Intrigado por sus poderes, decide investigar.

Estos hilos, unidos por el presunto suicidio de un sacerdote en Roma, llevarán a Carlos hasta Los Ángeles, donde las pesadillas de Jennifer Narody guardan la clave de un misterio que la Iglesia Católica, el Departamento de Defensa de los Estados Unidos y otras misteriosas fuerzas de las que es mejor no hablar, están empeñados en ocultar. El secreto de las bilocaciones de la dama azul está en juego.
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Editorial Reviews

Criticas

Sierra (La cena secreta ; Plaza & Janés, 2005) has made a career out of his interest in historical mysteries. First published in Spain in 1998, this novel is the result of seven years of research and is based on factual evidence and historical documents. In the 17th century, when missionaries arrived near the Rio Grande in New Mexico, they were astonished to learn that a “blue lady” had already been there and had prepared the natives’ hearts and minds for Christianity. Fearing satanic involvement, agents of the Inquisition investigated the case and discovered that a young nun had repeatedly traveled to New Mexico to evangelize the native tribes—without leaving her cloister in Spain. The nun’s deposition produced a veritable manual for bilocation—the ability to be in two places at once—a skill that has extensive military application in the present day. The ensuing battle either to protect or to develop this skill involves the U.S. military, the Vatican, the media, and others. Ecclesiastical intrigue, secret societies, and a mysterious murder beg comparison with Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code , but the premise is far less theologically provocative. An entertaining page-turner; recommended for public libraries and bookstores, particularly where there is interest in Southwestern lore or alternative spirituality.
—Carolyn Kost

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439178201
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Language: Spanish
  • Series: Atria Espanol
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 895,486
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Javier Sierra

Javier Sierra, whose works have been translated into thirty-five

languages, is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel

The Secret Supper. A native of Teruel, Spain, he currently lives

in Málaga.

Biography

Few novels in recent history have created quite the stir that Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code did upon its publication in 2003. Both praised for its readability and ingenuity and lambasted as blasphemous, this modern day murder mystery surrounding secret messages hidden in mast painter Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous works became widely read, pondered, and analyzed. So, it may only be natural that one might believe that Spanish author Javier Sierra's The Secret Supper is just another post-Da Vinci Code clone. However, both the writer and the critics prove that this simply is not the case.

Sierra has had a lifelong fascination with travel, writing, and revealing history's most confounding mysteries. According to Sierra's web site, it was he who located the highly controversial map of Piri Reis in Turkey, which supposedly offers "definitive proof" that Christopher Columbus was not the first person to navigate a route to the New World. Sierra also embarked on a quest for the Lost Inca Gold in Peru. He has explored strange phenomena surrounding the ancient sect of the Knights Templar in his 2000 novel Las Puertas Templarias (The Templar Doors) and Napoleon's bizarre night alone in the Great Pyramid at Giza in El Secreto Egipcio de Napoleon (Napoleon's Egyptian Secret, 2002). Now he is using his exploratory acumen to shed further light on the secrets behind the real Da Vinci code.

In The Secret Supper, Sierra takes us back to the late 15th century when Leonardo Da Vinci was very much alive and stirring up controversy amongst his contemporaries after church officials discovered subversive codes in his painting "The Last Supper." What follows is a church investigation led by Father Agostino Leyre regarding Da Vinci's intentions behind the mysterious messages he scattered in this world-renowned work of sacred art. While this plot may easily be mistaken for its more famous predecessor, Sierra had wholly different intentions in writing The Secret Supper than Dan Brown had when writing his novel. "A few pages of [The Da Vinci Code] were enough to resuscitate an enigma on which I had been already working for more than two years," Sierra said of The Secret Supper on his web site. "A mystery that, far from being solved in The Da Vinci Code, merited an exploration it had yet to receive... To accomplish this, one would have to manage something very important that the Dan Brown had never attempted: to enter the mind of Leonardo."

Sierra attempted to achieve this by setting forth on a globe-trotting journey to unveil the real meaning behind "The Last Supper." The discoveries that the author made during his treks to Paris, Milan, Rome, Florence, and the Tuscan village of Da Vinci formed the basis of The Secret Supper. "I started the field research of the book in 2001, before the publication of Brown's bestseller," Sierra said. "That was good for my work because I was able to consult files and places that today are crowded by readers of the Code."

Impressively, Sierra's own take on the mysteries swirling around Da Vinci's legacy have not been overshadowed by the imposing reputation cast by The Da Vinci Code. The Secret Supper has received wide critical acclaim from such sources as Publishers Weekly, The Guardian, and Kirkus Reviews, which went as far as to say that "Sierra is a more sophisticated writer than Dan Brown, and he offers fresh perspective on the Renaissance mind."

Apparently, it is neither the opinions of the critics nor those of his readers that are most prominently on Sierra's mind. "It took me three years to discover [the secrets behind ‘The Last Supper'], Sierra explained on his web site. "The same number of years that Leonardo took to create his version of ‘The Last Supper.' But before letting the world know his secret, even in the form of a novel, I wanted to ask him permission at his tomb... Whether Leonardo granted it to me or not, readers will now be able to judge for themselves."

Good To Know

Sierra has not limited his explorations of the unknown to the printed page. In 2004, he created and directed his very own television program for Telemadrid called El otro lado de la realidad (The Other Side of Reality).

While many kids were spending their teenage years bored in journalism class, Sierra was tackling a full-blown career in journalism. At the age of 16, he was writing articles for the Spanish press; at 18 he was a co-founder of an international magazine called Año Cero (Year Zero).

Some interesting outtakes from our interveiw with Sierra:

"I love those little details in a book that you can check for yourself. I always travel with a notebook where I write down those pieces of information that could be useful to complete a sequence in my books. If you want to play this game, I invite you to check those ‘little facts' included in The Secret Supper. Every café mentioned in my books exists; any house, façade, cemetery or park, also. It is always enjoyable when you can rediscover these little ‘secrets'!"

"In an eventual future life, I would like to be a musician. As with literature, music possesses an invisible energy that you can transform into something real. And that's just magic!"

"One of my favorite places to visit are old bookshops. It is a strange pleasure to smell those old volumes, and to know that I could find a treasure ‘buried' between them. From my early childhood, I always regarded books as ‘treasure maps,' and in a way, they are. They can bring you to remote cultures and exotic countries without your ever having to leave your armchair."

"One of my favorite hobbies is to visit sacred places around the world. They always attract me like a magnet. It doesn´t matter if they are sacred places of Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, ancient Greeks or modern sects. It is not a question of faith, and it is not just curiosity. I can't explain it, but I ‘know' I must visit them. In a way, doing so I feel like Sir Parcival searching for the Holy Grail. And this act of searching for the sacred is a very powerful tool for writing."

"I love receiving correspondence. I do not refer to e-mails, but to classic posted letters. My father worked as a postman many years, and I discovered with him the strange pleasure of sending a message and waiting impatiently for an answer."

"For me, the place where I live is extremely important. I chose a city on the Mediterranean coast because the sea provides me serenity. For seventeen years I lived in Madrid, with the sea more than three hundred kilometres away, and that was not good for my mind, believe me!"

"And just one secret: when relaxed, I like to draw comic-like stories. I have a great collection of them in my files."

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    1. Hometown:
      Málaga, Spain
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 11, 1971
    2. Place of Birth:
      Teruel, Spain
    1. Education:
      Journalism studies at the Complutense University, Madrid, 1989-1995
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

UNO

Venecia, Italia

Primavera de 1991

Con paso ligero, el padre Giuseppe Baldi dejó atrás la plaza de San Marcos con las últimas luces del día.

Como de costumbre, caminó en dirección a la orilla de los Schiavonidonde tomó el primer vaporetto con destino a San Giorgio Maggiore. Laisla que aparece en todas las postales de Venecia fue en otro tiempo propiedad de su orden y el viejo sacerdote siempre la contemplaba connostalgia. Las cosas estaban cambiando muy deprisa. Todo parecía sujetoa mutación en aquellos tiempos inestables. Incluso una fe, la suya, quecasi tenía dos mil años de historia a sus espaldas.

Baldi consultó su reloj de pulsera, aflojó el último botón de su hábito y, mientras buscaba un asiento libre junto a la ventana, aprovechó para limpiar los cristales de sus diminutas gafas de alambre.

-- Pater noster qui es in coelis... -- murmuró en latín.

Tras ajustarse las lentes, el benedictino comprobó que el hermoso horizonte de la ciudad de los cuatrocientos puentes se teñía de tonos naranjas.

-- ...sanctificetur nomen tuum...

Sin dejar de recitar su letanía, el padre admiró el crepúsculo al tiempo que echaba un discreto vistazo a su alrededor.

«Todo en orden», pensó.

El vaporetto, el familiar autobús acuático blanco de los venecianos,estaba casi vacío a esa hora. Sólo una pareja de japoneses y tresbecarios de la Fundación Giorgio Cini a los que Baldi conocía de vista, parecían interesados en su servicio.

«¿Por qué seguíahaciendo aquello?», se preguntó. «¿Por qué seguía mirando de reojo a lospasajeros del barco de las seis, como si fuera a descubrir entre ellos las cámaras de un periodista? ¿No llevaba ya suficientes años refugiado en la isla, a salvo de todos ellos?»

Catorce minutos más tarde, su transporte lo apeó en un feo embarcadero de hormigón. Al abrirse la compuerta, el bofetón de aire frío los despabiló a todos. Ninguno le prestó atención al bajar.

En el fondo, Baldi adoraba que su vida en la isla fuera tan tranquila. Cuando llegara a su celda se asearía, se cambiaría de calzado, cenaría con la comunidad y se encerraría a leer o a corregir algunos exámenes pendientes. Había seguido aquel rito desde su llegada a la abadía diecinueve años atrás. Diecinueve años de paz,cierto. Pero siempre en guardia, a la espera de una llamada, una carta o una visita indiscreta. Esa era su condena. La clase de carga que jamás se quitaría de encima.

Pero Baldi se esforzaba por no caer en la obsesión.

¿Existía una vida más placentera que la entregada al estudio? El buen religioso no albergaba dudas al respecto. Sus ocupaciones en el conservatorio Benedetto Marcello como profesor de prepolifonía leproporcionaban la calma que jamás conoció en su juventud. Sus alumnos eran aplicados. Acudían a sus clases con moderado entusiasmo y él les explicaba cómo era la música anterior al año mil, salpicando sus lecciones con curiosas anécdotas. El claustro de profesoreslo admiraba, incluso cuando dejaba de impartir sus clases abstraído en alguna investigación. Y los estudiantes lo respetaban. En consecuencia, sus horarios habían terminado por convertirse en los más flexibles del centro. Y sus lecciones, las más solicitadas.

Pero tantas facilidades nunca lograron distraerlo de sus otros intereses. Eran tan discretos y antiguos que rara vez hablaba de ellos con nadie.

Baldi llegó a la isla de San Giorgio en 1972, exiliado por culpa de la música. Allí, la Fundación Cini le ofreció más de lo que se hubiera atrevido a pedir a su obispo: una de las mejores bibliotecas de Europa, un centro de convenciones que había sido varias veces sede de conferencias de la UNESCO, y dos institutos consagrados a la música veneciana y a la etnomusicología que lo embriagaron. Hasta cierto punto era lógico que los benedictinos hubieran creado aquel paraíso para musicólogos en San Giorgio. ¿Quién si no los hermanos de la Ordo Sancti Benedicti podrían ocuparse con tanta devoción de tan antiguo arte? ¿Acaso no fue el propio San Benito quien, al fundar su Orden en el siglo VI, sentó las bases de la moderna ciencia musical?

Baldi era un experto en la materia. Él, por ejemplo, fue el primero en darse cuenta de que la regla de San Benito, la única que obligaba a ocho servicios religiosos diarios, se basaba por entero en la música. Era un secreto fascinante. De hecho, cada uno de los «modos» que todavía hoy se emplean en la composición de las melodías musicales había inspirado las oraciones que sus hermanos recitaban adiario. Baldi demostró que la oración de maitines (la de las 2 de lamadrugada, en invierno) se correspondía con la nota do. Que los laudes, al amanecer, equivalían a re. Los oficios de la hora primera, la tercia y la sexta -- las 6, 9 y 12 de la mañana -- a mi, fa y sol. Que la hora de mayor luz, la nona, a las 3 de la tarde, «sonaba» como la, y las vísperas, a la puesta del sol, como si.

Esa era la clase de lecciones que lo habían hecho famoso. «¡Horas y notas están relacionadas!» -- decía con vehemencia a sus alumnos -- . «¡Rezar y componer son actividadesparalelas! ¡La música es el verdadero lenguaje de Dios!»

Pero el veterano Baldi guardaba más hallazgos bajo los hábitos. Sus tesis eran deslumbrantes. Creía, por ejemplo, que los antiguos no sólo conocían la armonía y la aplicaban matemáticamente a su música, sino que ésta era capaz de provocar estados alterados de conciencia que permitían a sacerdotes e iniciados del mundo clásico acceder a parcelas «superiores» de la realidad. Su idea polemizó durante décadas con otras que defendían que esas sensaciones de elevación espiritual siempre se consiguieron gracias a drogas alucinógenas, hongos sagrados o substancias psicotrópicas.

¿Y cómo usaban la música? Baldi lo explicaba cuando laconversación se animaba. Admitía que a los sabios del pasado les bastaba desarrollar una sintonía mental adecuada para recibir información del «más allá». Decía que en ese estado, brujos y místicos podían revivir cualquier momento del pasado, por remoto que fuera. Dicho de otro modo, según él, la música modulaba la frecuencia de las ondas del cerebro y estimulaba centros de percepción capaces de navegar en el tiempo.

«Pero ese conocimiento -- explicaba resignado -- se perdió.»

Muchos cuestionaban las ideas vanguardistas del padre Baldi. Sin embargo, las polémicas jamás avinagraron su rostro jovial y amigable. Su melena de plata, su porte atlético y su mirada franca le conferían un halo de conquistador irresistible. Casi nadie reparaba nunca en sus sesenta y cinco años. De hecho, de no haber sido por su voto de castidad, Baldi habría roto los corazones de muchas alumnas. Y los de sus madres.

Aquel día, ajeno a lo que estaba a punto de sucederle, Baldi entró en su residencia con la sonrisa y la prisa de siempre. Apenas se fijó en que el hermano Roberto le esperaba en la puerta con cara de querer decirle algo.

Copyright © 2007 por Javier Sierra

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    In spite of being of religious in its theme, it is a fascinating read and questions even the most agnostic of readers, including myself, to think.

    La Dama azul - The Lady in Blue

    In 1991 Los Angeles, Jennifer Narody, an ex spy for the U. S. Defense Department, has nightmares about an out if this world woman dressed in blue. Jennifer is unaware that that same "woman" appeared more than three centuries ago to the New Mexico Indians trying to Christianize them.

    The real "Blue Lady" was a Spanish nun that could be in two places at one time (bilocación).

    Meanwhile in Spain, a terrible snowstorm leads a newspaperman, Carlos Albert, mysteriously to the town of Ágreda, where he visits the tomb of Sister María Jesús de Ágreda at the convent she founded in the XVIIth century and who was responsible for mysterious powers, among them being in two places at the same time. Carlos had lost his faith, after an accident, but he's had a series of "coincidences" that lead him to this nun and so he decides to investigate further.

    These incidents are added to the unexplained death of a Roman priest who was studying this precise ability. Then there is the theft from the Madrid's National Library of a XVIIth century document written by Fray Alonso de Benavides, which was publish by Phillip IV, king of Spain, and who detailed how one could achieve "bilocación."

    All of these mysteries take Carlos Albert to Los Angeles, where Jeniffer Narody's nightmares are the key to solving the puzzle that both the Catholic Church, the U. S. Defense Department, and other extraordinary forces are trying to hide. The "Bilocación" secret is about to be exposed.

    This is Javier Serra's second novel (La Cena Secreta was his first). Again he is masterful at utilizing the universal point of view and his characterization is superb. You can tell that he did a lot of research--he claim it took him seven years to put the book together.

    What is most amazing is how he mixes a series of facts with fiction. It is as if the facts are responsible for writing the novel, as Sierra tells us himself, Carlos Albert is his alter ego.

    In spite of being of religious in its theme, it is a fascinating read and questions even the most agnostic of readers, including myself, to think. The novel is very enjoyable and a very easy read. I couldn't put it down.

    I am most intrigued as to why the Catholic Church has kept Sister María Jesús de Ágreda's secret hidden from the world.

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