In The Tortilla Curtain, Boyle presents the story of a two separate couples who are brought together by an unforeseen accident and a series of events that begin when Delaney Mossbacher, one of the leading characters of the book, hits Cándido Rincón with his car and fails to recognize that he has in fact just hit an illegal immigrant. It is much later that Delaney Mossbacher recognizes that he had just hit an illegal immigrant. As the plot unfolds, Coraghessan Boyle presents an excellent narration of the manner in which the couple that has illegally immigrated falls into hardship after hardship and how their lives come to a point where they are not even close to the beautiful dreams that they saw when they made the decision of illegally crossing over.
The story steadily moves on and Coraghessan Boyle makes sure that the reader is not knocked breathless at any point but is allowed to descend calmly and steadily in to the developments of the plot. Coraghessan Boyle centers her work on the lives that are spent by two very different men and how the decision made by one eventually has profound influences upon the life of another. Delaney Mossbacher and Cándido Rincón attempt to lead their lives as steadily as possible but Coraghessan Boyle manages to weave a plot in which the reader finds a significant amount of attraction as authority bodies and general norms of society attempt to cast their influences upon the series of events while Delaney Mossbacher and Cándido Rincón both attempt to spend lives as stable as possible.