The House on the Beach is a story of love, disappointments, secrets and lies; it is set in the years after the Civil War, when Spain is ruled by the military dictator General Francisco Franco. Childhood friends, Rocio and Inma, come from very different worlds. Inma is rich, Rocio is poor; Inma lives in Madrid, Rocio lives in the Andalusian countryside. They grow up in a time when women have little independence or freedom; their lives are controlled by first their fathers and then their husbands. The story follows the lives of these two girls from childhood to maturity, as they share happiness, fears, disappointments, broken hearts and betrayals. Rocio is a shy and trusting girl, who becomes easily seduced by a handsome foreigner, while Inma, confident and manipulative, is the one who saves her from disgrace and the inevitable expulsion from the family home. But Inma, too, has her problems. At university she becomes involved in student demonstrations and political subterfuge; all of which she confides to Rocio. But when Inma becomes pregnant, she demands too much of her friend and her subsequent actions have a devastating affect on Rocio and her new husband.