This political tale follows a prominent family in Burma from the 1940's to the 1960's from British colonization to military rule. When WWII comes to Southeast Asia, Benny and Khin must go into hiding because Khin is part of a persecuted religion known as the Karen. Aung San, leader of the Burmese nationalists, struck a deal with British authorities. When he passes, his successor ignores the wants of the Karen and other ethnic groups to be self governed sparking the longest running civil war in recorded history. During this time, Benny and Khin's oldest child, Louisa, has achieved fame as Burma's first beauty queen leaving her to struggle with balancing fame and success with her loyalty to the Karen.