With its elements of magical realism, this novel is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Isabel Allende. The heroine Sonia Ocampo is believed to have special powers because she was born during a terrible storm that ravaged the mountain community of Tres Montes. When the people survived, they put this miracle down to the tiny baby that was born that night. As she has grown up the villagers come to Sonia for help with their problems, hopes and wishes, pinning gold symbols to her shawl which they believe will help their cause. This situation changes when a young man, who has gone missing from the village, is found murdered despite the usual intervention from Sonia. Sonia begins to feel that her life has been a sham and she is desperate to leave the stifling situation at home and the limitations of her life there.
Medina evokes this mountain village with all its folklore and superstition alongside some gritty realism of life in a small enclosed neighbourhood; the reader can empathise with Sonia’s dreams of a different life with no special role to play. With help from her aunt she moves to the city to work as a servant in a large house as an ordinary girl. But young men are going missing form Tres Montes and when she discovers that her much-loved brother Rafael is one of them she is forced to confront family ghosts and use all her real inner strength to find him and discover a way to bring him home.
This story is a charming mixture of a coming of age story and a love story mixed with a dose of magical realism and adventure.