gets a new look !
Pilar spends the first years of her retirement trying to make the world a better place and to put up with people's feelings of guilt, a task that is increasingly difficult in this day and age.
She takes part in peaceful vigils, works with Catholic charity organizations,hosts two young Polish women who've come to Lisbon to participate in the Taizé Community oecumenical meetings, all the while endlessly hanging and then taking down a horrible painting done by her friend, whom she doesn't want to offend when he comes visiting.
Most of all, she is very preoccupied by the solitude of her neighbor Aurora, a capricious and eccentric 80-year-old who escapes to the casino whenever she has a bit of money to spend. Aurora constantly talks about her daughter, who seems to neglect her, the "hangovers" caused by the anti-depressants she takes, and suspects Santa, her Cape Verdean housekeeper, of using voodoo against her.
We don't know a lot about Santa, who says little, follows orders without questioning them, and thinks that everyone should mind their own business. She is attending adult literacy classes, and at night reads Robinson Crusoe in a version adapted for children, while lying on her boss' couch and smoking cigarettes.
Before dying, Aurora makes a mysterious wish and the two other women join forces to make it come true. Aurora wants to see Gian Luca Ventura one more time. No one has ever heard of him before. Pilar and Santa discover that this man truly does exist, but he has lost his mind. Ventura has a secret pact with Aurora, and a story to tell: a story that happened fifty years earlier, just before the beginning of the Portuguese colonial war. The story begins like this: "Aurora had a farm in South Africa, at the foot of Mount Tabou."