Cristobal Porter is a struggling author who flees to a tropical island to work on his next manuscript. While there, he meets Ana Kaplan, the wife of an American diplomat. Cristobal's girlfriend, Nadia, begins an affair with Ana's husband, which allows Cristobal and Ana to act upon their attraction to each other. But as their affair grows deeper, the political instability on the island escalates and tragic consequences loom for Cristobal and Ana. Almost from the beginning, readers will find Blanc's novel overly stylized in the extreme. The book's pacing is tedious, while the prose is heavy handed and overshadows the well-rendered intimate exchanges between characters.