Evelyn's life undergoes a change the summer she turns 12. Living in Syria in the late 1960s, she and her family are frequently subjected to violent anti-Semitism. Evelyn's mother watches her like a hawk, her brothers chaperone her everywhere. The family's cotton fields are expropriated and a wily lawyer manipulates a new law and so takes over her home.
Evelyn's family decide to begin the dangerous journey to Israel. A series of people help them to escape from Syria. They are driven close to the border and then climb and walk, hide in caves and wade through swamps, with no food. The family's determination to stick to the journey wins admiration and friendship. The family finally arrives in Turkey, the last leg of their long trek.