After her brother is killed in the Vietnam War, Helen Adams goes to Saigon to work as a photojournalist. There she meets Darrow, an experienced war photographer who becomes her mentor and lover. Helen manages to convince reluctant officials to allow her go on combat missions. Her guide in the field is Darrow's Vietnamese assistant Linh, who fought on both sides before suffering an unspeakable tragedy.
At first hoping to understand what happened to her brother, Helen is soon consumed by the exhileration of being on the frontline and capturing the war on film. Given the chance to return to America, she finds herself drawn back to the place that has become more real and familiar to her than home. This is an evocative portrait of the Vietnam War from the early days of U.S. involvement to the fall of Saigon depicted in dreamy prose that captures both the beauty of Vietnam and the horrors of war.