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In August of 1998, El Viejo, an ancient village in El Diablo County, must decide the fate of its Mutual Water Company in an imminent election. Pollard Park, a juggernaut is at their doorstep and covets their land for expansion for industry and commerce. In July, three 34 year old, childhood friends reunite in the crisis in spite of personal, time-related priorities. Jesus (Jesse) Martinez, a diplomat, has responded to his widowed mother’s urgent call to help her decide how to vote in the coming election. He and Esperanza Moreno had been the poorest children in the school. She, as Ranza Moreno, is a savvy political candidate campaigning in a run-off election. She has remained friends with Consuela Sanchez-Shrewsberry, whose estate has been annexed to Pollard Park over her objections, leaving her vulnerable for seizure by eminent domain unless her adobe mansion can qualify for protection as a historical treasure.

The story shows how the three pool their resources to save the water company, while experiencing tragedy, an on-again off-again romance, exposing a network of prejudice and political corruption, and solving the 150-year-old mystery surrounding the violent death of Don Miguel. They achieve realistic outcomes for a satisfying conclusion.

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