After her father is killed in the Korean War, young Blanca Estela and her mother leave California to spend the summer in Revilla, a picturesque town in northern Mexico where Blanca’s grandmother lives. But in Blanca Estela’s eyes, Revilla is far from an idyllic holiday retreat.
She misses the comforts and amenities of the United States and she speaks little Spanish, making it difficult to interact with her grandmother or with the neighborhood children. However, at the older woman’s prodding, Blanca Estela overcomes her reluctance to join in the town children’s games. For the young girl, these simple pastimes open a door to another world, another culture, another language.
Blanca Estela soon delights in the marvel of communicating with her newly-acquired Spanish. She also learns about love and friendship, each accompanied by both joy and the sadness of separation. Gradually she discovers in Revilla a home away from home.
Blanca Estela realizes that she will never forget the old town whose stone houses shimmer under the light of the sun and moon like “pillars of gold and silver.”