Let the Great World Spin

Let the Great World Spin

A nurse at a nursing home where Corrigan picks up elderly patients to give them time outside. She has three young children and is from Guatemala, where her husband died and where she trained to be a doctor (when she moved to the United States to escape the Guatemalan Civil War, though, her university credentials didn’t transfer). Seeing an assortment of bruises on Corrigan’s arm one day, she diagnoses him with TTP, a blood disorder. In the time following this diagnosis, she massages Corrigan’s arms to get the blood moving, and this is how the two establish their romantic connection. Adelita and Corrigan fall in love, though Corrigan’s vows of celibacy make their relationship difficult until their time together is tragically cut short by Corrigan’s death.

Adelita Quotes in Let the Great World Spin

The Let the Great World Spin quotes below are all either spoken by Adelita or refer to Adelita. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Political Unrest Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Let the Great World Spin published in 2009.
Book One, Chapter 1: All Respects to Heaven, I Like it Here Quotes

We seldom know what we’re hearing when we hear something for the first time, but one thing is certain: we hear it as we will never hear it again. We return to the moment to experience it, I suppose, but we can never really find it, only its memory, the faintest imprint of what it really was, what it meant.

Related Characters: Ciaran Corrigan (speaker), John Andrew Corrigan (“Corrigan”), Adelita
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Book Three, Chapter 10: Centavos Quotes

I know already that I will return to this day whenever I want to. I can bid it alive. Preserve it. There is a still point where the present, the now, winds around itself, and nothing is tangled. The river is not where it begins or ends, but right in the middle point, anchored by what has happened and what is to arrive. You can close your eyes and there will be a light snow falling in New York, and seconds later you are sunning upon a rock in Zacapa, and seconds later still you are surfing through the Bronx on the strength of your own desire. There is no way to find a word to fit around this feeling. Words resist it. Words give it a pattern it does not own. Words put it in time. They freeze what cannot be stopped.

Related Characters: Adelita (speaker), John Andrew Corrigan (“Corrigan”)
Page Number: 278-9
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Adelita Character Timeline in Let the Great World Spin

The timeline below shows where the character Adelita appears in Let the Great World Spin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book One, Chapter 1: All Respects to Heaven, I Like it Here
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...again accompanies Corrigan as he drives the elderly around. In picking them up, he meets Adelita, a nurse at the home for whom Corrigan has an obvious affinity. Throughout the day... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...out that he has a rare blood condition known as TTP (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura), which Adelita diagnosed him with. Corrigan had been helping move furniture into the nursing home when Adelita... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...faith. He felt as if he was losing God. In the nursing home one day Adelita started asking him about his treatment, and then she began rubbing the inside of his... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
...then, to his own dismay, he found himself returning to the nursing home and asking Adelita to rub his arm again. While she rubbed his arm, he kissed her. After that,... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Once Corrigan has unloaded this information about his love for Adelita, he feels somewhat freed. In the following days he goes to the nursing home as... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Adelita, who has her children with her, helps Ciaran take the elderly residents to the beach.... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Unaware of the accident Corrigan and Jazzlyn have been in, Ciaran and Adelita finish their day at the beach. Ciaran drops everyone off and drives back to the... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
At the hospital Ciaran and Adelita find Corrigan while Adelita’s children sit in the waiting room. Frantic, they pull their chairs... (full context)
Book One, Chapter 3: A Fear of Love
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Prejudice & Stereotypes Theme Icon
...she is in a rough neighborhood—direct her to Corrigan’s apartment, where she meets Ciaran and Adelita. (full context)
Book Three, Chapter 10: Centavos
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Adelita narrates a memory of a slow Thursday morning spent with Corrigan in her clapboard house... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
The night before, Adelita and Corrigan made love. It was Corrigan’s very first time. He then wept over having... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
In the morning—which Adelita will never forget—they start to have sex for a third time after locking the bedroom... (full context)
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
A week after this morning, Adelita comes home from the hospital and takes a number of stray hairs from her sink—they... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
But right now Adelita dwells in the memory of that Thursday morning, when her children greet Corrigan and he... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Later, after the accident, Adelita wonders what it was that Corrigan had seen when he told her that he had... (full context)
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Of course, Adelita heard about the tightrope walker. She knows that Corrigan spent the night in his van... (full context)
Unity & Human Connection Theme Icon
Simultaneity & Time Theme Icon
Doubt & Faith Theme Icon
Adelita admits that she has moments in which she loses hope and thinks that Corrigan must... (full context)