The year is 1965, and South Vietnam is being invaded by North. Caught in the line of fire is the small mountain town of Chu Ling. A family of farmers lives there, but when the war arrives in their backyard, Nguyen Choeu and his wife and son are forced to leave their happy home and fertile farmland. They find peace and safety at an American convent. They also find friends—an American couple named Bill and Liz Harmon.
Bill and Liz are far from their Wisconsin home, searching for their son, whose plane was shot down somewhere nearby. They fear the worst, and it’s hard to hope in the midst of war. Optimism takes a downward spiral when Nguyen learns his farm—and the surrounding fertile landscape—has been burnt to a crisp. Soon, the Harmons must head back to America, and they invite Nguyen and his family to join them.
The Choeus and Harmons live well together in the Wisconsin countryside. The two families grow close, but it becomes apparent that the local community is not as accepting as Bill and Liz. Nguyen must face unforeseen prejudices in this new land. In order to survive another tragic turn, a Vietnamese family and an American family must become one in heart and soul as they fight their own battles—inside and out.