Elena Alcantara, a hopeless romantic, lives a miserable life in her native Cuba. She endures the tyranny of a heartless father, and is weighed down by a mother who never fights back.
She escapes to the USA seeking a better life, swearing never to follow in her mother's submissive ways. She becomes an outstanding beautician and with a friend opens a beauty salon, which flourishes.
Eventually, she falls blindly in love with Roberto Carvajal-handsome, debonair Sephardic Jew, fact he hides from Catholic Elena. She marries Roberto and for a time, the couple lives an idyllic romance. But soon Elena learns Roberto hides an even deeper, darker secret, one that will destroy their marriage, unless she can find the strength to overcome it.