The book tells the story of a young Vietnamese and his survival in a country that is ravaged by war. The book replicates the stories of a young generation of Vietnamese who faced hard life following the war in their country as a result of fall of South Vietnam in 1975. Jade recounts his life and that of his siblings in the war torn country. His attempts to escape lands him in Thailand and eventually he get to a refugee camp in the United States. Throughout the book, the author expresses many of his desires in what he want to do with his life and what he want to see changed in his surroundings.