It is 1956 in Havana, and the success of Castro's revolution is far from a sure thing. The old establishment still does things in exactly the same way and for the same reasons, and it spares hardly a thought that the wild men fighting in the mountains will ever accomplish anything. In this story, Larita is a fine student who wins consideration for a scholarship in America. However, when she is interviewed by the socialite who judges who will win the scholarship, the fact that she is a poor orphan growing up in an adoptive family works against her. Sometime later, she is working as a waitress in a restaurant and serves the same woman who rejected her before. Typically, the socialite doesn't recognize or remember her. In her inner life, Larita has been encountering the works of the Nobel prize-winning American who so adored Cuba, Ernest Hemingway. In particular, she sees a parallel between herself and the central figure in his book The Old Man and the Sea, as she also almost landed a big fish, in the form of that scholarship.