In 1930s China, one tragedy after another seems to pursue Meilin. As a young wife she becomes a widow. Then with her four-year-old son, Renshu they are forced to flee the family home when the Japanese army approaches. After weeks of travelling by train, then on foot they arrive at a remote inland town where she believes they’ll be safe. Her brother-in-law and wife join them, but as the days pass, Japanese bomber planes reach their village. When finally the war ends in 1945, they move to Shanghai, until the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek fight for supremacy. Where can they escape to when it seems that their lives are in danger once again?