The book has two related themes. The first is a story of an improbable friendship between a rural, semi-literate, violent, heroin addicted Chicano and a Brooklyn bred Jew, who bonded almost immediately. Life drew them apart for almost half a century and when the friendship resumed, both Santana and Saul realized, to their satisfaction, that their feelings for the other had remained strong.
In the intervening years, however, their circumstances had changed radically. Santana, after spending much of his life in California prisons for violent crimes, had become a devout Christian and church pastor. Saul had become a successful businessman and remained an atheist.
The book shows how the strong bond survives the difference both in life circumstances and belief and suggests a way for others to follow.