Bárbara Smith has lost the ability to speak and communicate following a tragic shipwreck in which she lost her husband Paul. To shake her mother out of her state of shock, Carolina, her 40 year old daughter, applies an unusual form of ‘therapy’: reading books that have special meaning to her out loud. This is an ideal method for them both as books have always been an important part of their relationship. But the choice of these books is based on Carolina’s specific mental and emotional map featuring characters she especially identifies with so the practice ends up becoming a form of catharsis related closely to the shock of her muted mother and especially the ghosts that torment Carolina and prevent her from finding happiness.
In addition to the hospital room where Barbara is recovering, the story has another fantastical setting: the bookshop owned by Carolina. A selection of enchanting characters appear throughout: Carolina’s brother Guillermo, a generous and seductive character; Andrea, her best friend and sister in law who suffers from depression; her employee Lana, the heart and soul of the bookshop; Matt, an impossible love; Paul, the absent father now trying to get closer to her; Richard, her parents’ close friend from their youth; Mariano, Barbara’s doctor, who gets more and more involved with this book-loving family; her little niece Marina, a smart, resourceful girl and Carmen, a character who emerges at the end to close the ‘random circle’ of a life, in this case that of Carolina.