Set in a declining Chilean gold mining town in the recent past this a sad story of lost love, missed opportunities, abandonment and madness. In spite of all this, it is not a depressing read. (Honestly!) The story is narrated by the main characters in different chapters and the chronology can be a little confusing, but stick with it. Clorinda is an exceptional heroine and a brilliant creation. A very unusual first novel and a great read.