Twelve years ago, Miki Ai’Lee walked away from her traditional Chinese heritage, leaving her native Hawai`i behind. Now thirty and unmarried, Miki is a respected art history professor on the Mainland. But when her grandmother’s illness draws her back to Hawai`i, Miki realizes that she has been gone too long. Her first love, Alex, bears scars that he is unwilling to explain, and her grandmother is ready to share their family’s darkest secret, if only Miki will listen.
When the old world of tradition and the new world of opportunity collide, forcing Miki to choose between the man she loves and the heritage that holds her, she finds that the iron-clad whispers of tradition are once again at odds with her own desires.