Clorinda Matto de Turner was the first Peruvian novelist to command an international reputation and the first to dramatize the exploitation of indigenous Latin American people. In this tragic tale, she explores the relationship between the landed gentry and the indigenous peoples of the Andean mountain communities. While unfolding as a love story rife with secrets and dashed hopes, 'Torn from the Nest' in fact reveals a deep and destructive class disparity, and criticizes the Catholic clergy for blatant corruption. Lucia and Don Fernando Marin settle in the small hamlet of Killac, where they meet with violent opposition from the priest and gentry when they become advocates for the exploited local Indians. As a romance blossoms between a member of the gentry and the peasant girl that Lucia and Don Fernando have adopted, a dreadful secret prevents their marriage and brings to a climax the novel's exposure of degradation - they share the same father, a parish priest.