The following year saw publication of his second novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which won him the Pulitzer Prize.
He won a second Pulitzer in 1938 for his play Our Town and a third in 1942 for the play The Skin of Our Teeth.
A bridge woven by the Incas a century earlier collapsed at that particular moment, while five people were crossing it.
The collapse was witnessed by Brother Juniper, a Franciscan monk who was on his way to cross it.
When she learns that her daughter in Spain is pregnant, Doña María decides to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Santa María de Cluxambuqua.
Pepita goes along as company and to supervise the staff.
Clara was indifferent to her mother, though, and married a Spanish man and moved across the ocean.
Doña María visits her daughter, but when they cannot get along, she returns to Lima.
Curious about why God would allow such a tragedy, he decides to take a scientific approach to the question.
He sets out to interview everyone he can find who knew the five victims.