Elvira Vernet comes from a male-dominated family of merchants living in the Puerto Rican town of La Concordia. Her father, Santiago Vernet, and his four sons help transform Puerto Rico from a bucolic island where hunger is a part of the landscape into a bustling industrial society with all of its contradictions and attendant ills. Handsome, eloquent, and enormously successful, he can't help but charm his only daughter. Yet, in understanding her obsession with her father, Elvira must first come to terms with her mother, who died many years before, and whose family, the Rivas de Santillanas, had roots in an old plantation culture that could not survive the era of mechanization. "Eccentric Neighborhoods" is an attempt to lay bare the psychological conflicts that determine the relationships between mothers and daughters, and it is also the story of Puerto Rico's transformation.