In the central Yucatan a group of Maya Indian workers revolt against the corrupt oligarchy of government, business, the official union, and the press. Two young men--a traditional Maya leader and a Mexican-American lawyer--are drawn into ever deeper commitment to the struggle. When they are caught in a trap and thrown into jail, the lawyer declares a hunger strike. The story of the Maya workers, and of their village, is narrated in a series of vivid flashbacks that alternate with the grim deprivations and interrogations in the prison. Day by day, the young lawyer approaches death, and in his discussions with his friend and cell mate, there emerge two different definitions of love, loyalty, and courage, each man's version determined by the culture from which he springs. One of the chief delights of this rich, intense storytelling is the introduction it provides to the Maya understanding of time, medicine, and proper behavior. Although everything that happens in the novel could have appeared in the latest news stories out of Mexico, nothing happens quite as expected, and the startling conclusion could only have taken place in the Yucatan.