Senora Moreno provides Ramona all the luxury that she would have had as a family member, but is never able to love her the way she loves her own son, Senor Felipe. Ramona grows up without knowing anything about her natural parents.
In a year when Ramona is about 19 years old, she falls in love with an Indian sheep shearer, Alessandro. Senora Moreno does not approve of their marriage and hence, they elope. Alessandro is the son of the Chief of the tribe at Temecula Village. By this time, the Indians at Temecula have been chased away by the Americans and Alessandro's father has died in this grief. Also the Indians have been forbidden from entering Temecula. Ramona and Alessandro get married, but they have no home to live in. They begin their painful journey from village to village. Eventually they have two daughters out of which the elder one dies due to lack of medical attention. Alessandro loses his mind due to the constant uncertainty and hardship they have endured. One evening he brings along an American's horse mistaking it for his own. The Americans follow him and shoot him to death in front of Ramona's eyes. In the meantime, Senora Moreno has died and Senor Felipe has come a long way in search of Ramona. He finds her and her surviving daughter. In the end, they go to Mexico and get married.
This novel mainly reflects Jackson's concern for the Native Americans an