During a long, lingering lunch at the Automobile Club de France, the elderly Comte de Branly tells a story to a friend, unnamed until the closing pages, who is in fact the first-person narrator of the novel. Branly's story is of a family named Heredia: Hugo, a noted Mexican archaeologist, and his young son, Victor, whom Branly met in Cuernavaca and who became his house guest in Paris. There they are gradually drawn into a mysterious connection with the French Victor Heredia and his son, known as Andre. There is a hard-edged emphasis on the theme of relations between the Old World and the New, as Branly's twilit, Proustian existence is invaded and overcome by the hot, chaotic, and baroque proliferation of the Caribbean jungle.
Distant Relations is a classic novel by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.