A single businesswoman goes into business with a man she just meets to develop land in Mexico. Susana Ames is in search of property off the beaten path in Mexico, where her California family cannot find her. She has money to build a new home and in the a real estate office in 1962, when she meets ts Bud Loomis. A sexist man who realizes at once that Ames would make a good business partner( she looks loaded). She has money and is without a husband . He reasons (every woman needs a man) to handle her affairs. Ames agrees to buy land with Loomis since neither can afford it an their own. They have different ideas about what do with it he wants to develop it for massive profit and she wants a place where she can draw and is peaceful.
Don Enrique owns the land and a dilapidated home that has been in his family for generations. He and Loomis both suffer from tax problems. Don Enrique needs to sell land to meet his obligations and Ames and Loomis couldn't have shown up at a better time.
Unable to make fast agreements on what to with the land Ames and Loomis squabble. She agrees to find prospective buyers while he visualizes a water system that will equip the town with a things they have viewed as necessities but that he know they will need and want as the population increases.
Ames plans to take a trip for a week in a neighboring town during Holy Week when the gravel roads are most traveled by rich and poor alike. Her hotel date was mixed up and she finds herself without accommodations when she finally arrives after driving several hours. By chance a woman in the hotel lobby overhears her plight and offers her room (she''ll stay with friends) in another room.
The rooms are next to each other and while enjoying tea on her patio Ames hears the voice of the woman who gave up her room. Fran Bowles is the woman and she is vacationing with her latest guy Paco, a man with two former wives and children from both who live with their grandmothers while their father entertains a new woman (Fran). Fran has been married twice herself and is in no rush to make it a tertiary situation.
She learns from the reserved Ames that she is there in search of potential buyers in small town which Fran has never heard of. She is sold on buying two plots after hearing Ames go on about. She'll take one for her mother who was born in Mexico and wants to die there and one for herself.
The town is slowly growing and Enrique's downtrodden home is being rebuilt along with Fran's. Ames' s adobe house is cute and quaint.
She forges a friendship with the towns few inhabitants and soon Fran's mother comes to live in her new house. Ursula is a kind soul who has almost no relationship with Fran. She understands love but this “free” love and sleep without marriage is beyond her. The townsfolk closest to Ames property notice that Fran and Ursula have a distant relationship and try and intervene without overstepping boundaries to bring the women closer.
Enrique misses his mother who he lost when he was a small boy. His heart aches for whatever keeps the two women apart. Ursula knows she is dying and goes over her will with Fran. Fran takes note that her mother has included everyone that worked for her down to the smallest capacity. She is a caring selfless person.
Ames moves away keeping her property for her infrequent visits. Loomis asks to buy her out. Development ceases when water mains break and Loomis is unable to keep up with maintenance. Ames continues to draw and paint from many places. Always visions of beauty with lakes and flowers. When Enrique suggests combining Ames and Fran's homes with a walk through. She politely declines. He is welcome to use her rooms while she is away. But she must have her space and piece of beauty to create when she returns.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that Susana held her ground and didn't allow herself to get swindled.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was Fran and Susana having girl talk.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked that Susana was selective about her house and that she loved nature.