Tómas Harvey is an engineering student living on a small, impoverished island in Ecuador. He is conscripted into military service in the border war with Peru, where he is convinced he will die a senseless death.
His father, a renowned British travel writer, is accused of embezzling government funds and, suddenly, leaves the island. While searching for answers, Tómas embarks on a journey of discovery that may lead him closer to his father and to his biological mother who abandoned him at birth and away from his home country for the first time in his life.
The novel chronicles how duty shapes a family over generations, the struggle for self discovery, and how the abandonment of selfish obligations in favor of altruism can lead to a renewed faith in humanity, and ultimately, in ourselves.