Set against the background of the Vietnamese civil war we have a young girl who has to flee her country to escape possible persecution, taking with her a Lotus seed, a symbol of a lost way of life. This young girl grows up in an alien land to become a Grandmother. One day the Lotus seed is taken and planted by one of her grandchildren. The Grandmother is distressed that her precious treasure is taken, especially when her grandson cannot remember where he planted it, but, the blossoming of the seed provides a link between the past present and future.
Migration and societal changes because of war are some of the themes of this book.