This is a Spanish regional novel, which centres on the decaying, ancient mansions of Galicia, in which the occupants are enmeshed in greed, lust and violence.
The priest believes that the sacrament of matrimony, will render the fruits upon Señor de Ulloa soul and sets hmself the goal of finding him a bride suitable for such high designations. The Marquis due to quite distorted reasoning ends up choosing a cousin who is not very attractive and a little weak istead of the one he was really attracted to.
The aims of the priest clash head to head wih the long term plans of Primitivo a sort of family housekeeper with a self appointed position who have been stealing the proceeds of the hacienda's and is waiting for the proper moment to take full control of the Marquis de Ulloa's land properties. At that moment will become due when Spain is shaken by liberal movements and the novelty of the democratic process.
The role of women on this novel shall not go unnoticed, since both the maid and the aristocratic lady of the house are also a reflection of the era which is gaining momentum Spain and it is reflected on the health of both ladies and in which the Spaniars were simultaneously spectators and protagonists as well as in the sexual preferences of the Marquis de Ulloa.