In 1944 in British Mandate Palestine, Tonia's parents take the family to live on a struggling religious kibbutz in isolated Gush Etzion. Fifteen-year-old Tonia does not share her father's dream for a Jewish state, nor does she believe that one will ever come to be. Life on the kibbutz is harsh, and Tonia longs for security and a little comfort. She is determined to seek them in America, as soon as she is old enough to leave - even though that means turning her back on her love for Amos, a handsome young Yemenite who belongs to the Jewish underground.
Much of this novel takes place in Kfar Etzion, during its establishment, siege, and fall to the Arab Legion. While the characters are fictional, historical events are accurately portrayed. This is one of a handful of English novels that take place in British Mandate Palestine and the only one that tells the story of Kfar Etzion.
A later part of the story takes place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Tonia tries to build a new life. Several historical accounts have been written about the establishment of Kfar Etzion, its siege, fall to the Arab Legion, and the massacre that followed. This book is the only fictional presentation of these events. It is not, however, a history lesson, but a compelling character-driven love story, with no political agenda.