Set in Latin America during the late 19th century, THE BLACK LETTER tells the story of Sofía de Bastida y Castellanos, a privileged, naïve young woman whose life and fortune change drastically when she becomes muse to artist Don Santiago de Córdova and finds herself pregnant with his child.
Sofía de Bastida y Castellanos is used to a life of luxury and privilege: fine gowns, servants, and painting lessons with her best friend, the president's niece. Of course, though satisfying, it is a life that comes with obligations. Sofía is expected to behave like a proper lady, is chaperoned by her nana at all times, and, worst of all, her father expects her to marry rich, slobbering widower Don René de la Vega to secure her family's slightly tenuous position as members of the aristocracy. Fortunately, Sofía devises the perfect solution to both Don René and her unexpected pregnancy: elope with Santiago, under-appreciated genius painter and the love of her life, and avoid both a forced marriage and a scandal.
However, Sofía quickly discovers that Santiago is not the honest, passionate man she thought he was and, moreover, her plan is not as foolproof as she has led herself to believe. When Santiago's friend attacks and tries to rape her, Sofía is mistaken for a prostitute and hauled to the Galapagos Islands, where she must learn to reside alongside exiled criminals, loose women, and strange, exotic animals. Perhaps the biggest danger Sofía faces, though, is the island's supreme ruler, Miguel Angel Cuervo, a charismatic, yet ruthless dictator who always gets what he wantsand what he wants is to claim Sofía as his mistress. But Sofía has already fallen for his right hand man, Antonio Márquez, a sensitive, selfless man who is brief of speech but generous of heart.
As distrust and discontent brew on the island, Sofía grows more and more torn between returning home and securing her child's future or remaining in this strange place, where she has found unexpected amounts of love and freedom. When mutiny becomes imminent, Sofía must make a difficult decision: she can take a chance on a life and a world that may no longer accept her, or she can stay and help her new friends, who have protected her from the start of this whole ordeal and who have become an odd, loving family and a new sort of home.