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The year is 1920, and Luis Agua, an authorised representative of an electricity company, arrives in Vila Natal, an inhospitable village in Portugal. His objective is to convince the inhabitants of the benefits of artificial light. Before long Agua learns that the village and the castle that presides over it hide deep secrets. A noble widow in decline, a will that is both cruel and impertinent, a pioneer of aviation, an epidemic and an unexpected ending; these are the ingredients of this novel in which the themes of love, revenge, humour, death and greed come together to form an almost arithmetic narrative.