In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, two young girls from very
different worlds collide and become inseparable companions. Willow is
hardened by poverty and fearful for her future; Pearl is the daughter of
a Christian missionary who desperately wishes she was Chinese too.
Neither could have foreseen the transformation of the little American
girl embarrassed by her blonde hair into the Nobel Prize-winning writer
and one of China's modern heroines, Pearl S. Buck.
country erupts in civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists,
Pearl and Willow are brutally reminded of their differences. Pearl's
family is forced to flee the country and Willow is punished for her
loyalty to her 'cultural imperialist' friend. And yet, in the face of
everything that threatens to tear them apart, the paths of these two
women remain intimately entwined.