When John Lane arrived for a six-week stay as adviser to the Women's Health Care Centre of Lima, a private clinic built by La Senora Coraima Pandora del Teodosia Zapallo-Chupado Palermo Bonomini, to provide an appropriate setting for her highly qualified husband Dr Hermogenes, he had little idea what he was taking on. Our clinic is mainly for the expecting woman, La Senora explained. But as yet there was no lift between the delivery room and the wards, so business was limited. As the Clinic staggered from financial difficulty to total insolvency, the author found himself caught up in the rhythms of Peruvian life, attending bullfights with Dr Hermogenes, who was an aficionado, accompanying La Senora to the weddings and funerals of her large extended family and on her whirlwind shopping expeditions to various parts of Peru, while in the background the chaotic presidential elections rumbled on. Punctuated by increasingly desperate attempts to refinance the Clinic, his stay extended far beyond the original six weeks. John Lane's account of life with the irrepressible Senora and the unconventional staff of the Clinic opens a unique window on Peruvian society and politics.
John Lane spent 35 years in the Royal Navy where he saw operational service in Malaya, Aden and North Borneo and commanded naval establishments in Gibraltar and Oman. After leaving the Navy he served as a Senior Hospital Administrator in the Gulf War, and has worked for the Ryder Cheshire Foundation, and for the International Red Cross in trouble spots across the world. In 1992 he was head of mission for the HALO trust in Afghanistan. He was awarded the OBE in 1985.
Writing in a wonderfully jovial style, Lane creates a highly perceptive and very funny depiction of Peruvian society
The Geographical Magazine
Times Literary Supplement
It is refreshing to find a writer with the breadth of experience of John Lane ... Lane has a confident and original writing voice ... he is certainly a fine comic writer, and I hope that, in between global troubleshooting, he will find time to write more books
Miranda France, Telegraph
A delightful account of living in Peru
A unique window on Peruvian society and politics
A quirky, jovially funny memoir.
Written in a hilarious style, this is a unique look at Peruvian politics, society and culture.