The Second World War has ended but China is still not at peace. Civil war and famine tear the country and its people apart, giving it no time to heal. Li has lost his family, his home, and his hope for the future. But with the help of Sushi, his only surviving friend, he tries to escape. Together, the two men battle constant hunger, the landscape, enemy soldiers, and their own doubts and fears. Constantly looking back to the memories and lessons of his past, Li struggles to understand the turmoil that has befallen his present. Without an army, Li and Sushi soldier on, avoiding loneliness and death for as long as they can. They discover in themselves the limits of their own kindness and humanity, as well as a bond between them even stronger than blood, one that keeps them going as they search for their salvation, the beautiful island of Formosa.