Tom Bogard travels from Boston to the small western mining town of Carson, where on arrival he mentions he is the brother of Jack Bogard, who was assassinated a few weeks ago, he then is completely shut out. By no means anxious to leave, Tom begins to look for people who will be able to tell him about the death of his brother.
Emilia works in a fashion house. Her modest salary does not allow her to buy the clothes she would like to wear. One night there is a dance and, being very in love with her boyfriend, she decides to borrow an outfit to impress him. However, everything goes wrong and when the robbery is discovered she is dismissed. Shortly after this, she discovers she is going blind and, on top of that, her mother dies.
On a secluded farmhouse in Castile and León, Luis is reuinted with his estranged daughter, Elisa after a 20-year separation. On the farmhouse, Luis writes what appears at times to be both an autobiography and a novel. The book is played out, with memories of the past, such as when Luis walked out on his family and is mixed with fantasies about Elisa’s adult life as well as her failed marriage.
It is the year 1981, famous writer Antonio Albajara arrives at Gijón, his hometown, from Stockholm, where he has just received the Nobel Prize in Literature. For forty years, Albajara has been a professor of medieval literature at the Berkeley University. In Gijón, Antonio is reunited with Elena, his first and great love, before he was forced to his exile in 1937 Civil War. However, this visit is not definitive because a serious disease affects the writer.