Richard and Sara Everton mortgage, sell and borrow, leave friends and country to settle in the Mexican village of Ibarra. They intend to spend the rest of their lives here, in a place neither of them has seen, to speak a language neither of them know. Their dream is to reopen Richard's grandfather's abandoned copper mine.
In a few short months work is advancing in the mine and their home is ready -- then Richard learns he has six years to live.
Richard's determination to make the mine and village prosper matches Sara's effort to deny the diagnosis. While Richard measures time, she rejects its passage.
This novel, Harriet Doerr's first, was written when she was in her seventies. It won the American Book Award.