This book is a parable for the millennium, a powerful, haunting novel of magic and miracles, of four troubled people who meet beneath Chicago's shadowy streets - and of the woman whose mysterious appearance changes all of their lives forever. They come from different worlds and meet at a time of crisis for all of them. Luisa, a drunken diva fallen on hard times, discovers on Chicago's streets a drama greater than any she has experienced onstage. Madeleine, a homeless woman, sees the Virgin Mary's blood seeping through a concrete wall beneath a luxury hotel. Mara, a rebellious adolescent cast out by her wealthy grandfather, becomes the catalyst for a war between the haves and have-nots as she searches among society's castoffs for the mother she never knew.
As the three women fight for their right to live and worship beneath the hotel, they find an ally in Hector Tammuz, an idealistic young psychiatrist risking his career to treat the homeless regardless of the cost. Tensions in the city are escalating when a mysterious woman appears during a violent storm. Erotic to some, repellent to others, she never speaks; the street people call her Starr. And as she slowly transforms their lives, miracles begin to happen in a city completely unprepared for the outcome.