Mexico is the setting of this novel which deals with middle-aged love and expatriation. Mexico has given forty-eight-year-old Abe Winteridge shelter from his dreary Buffalo home and from the haunting memories of a boyhood spent during the depression. It is Mexico which he loves for its vigor and despises for its bondage to the Church, Mexico which has given him Tom and Carol, a young couple dedicated to each other and the manufacture of furniture with ""integrity"". When Winteridge meets and, for some inexplicable reason, falls in love with a spinster tourist, he proposes, but the lady takes too long to decide. In the face of Tom's financial and domestic reversals, he decides that the woman with her provincial suspicion of Mexico, her desire for the ""real"" life of Los Angeles is far less worthy than Tom's furniture, and he burns the final bridge that connects him with the states. A muddled, talky novel, written about depressing people in depressing circumstances in a depressing manner.