In 1959 when her mother dies, grieving twelve-year-old Ayumi leaves her home in Japan and crosses the Pacific Ocean alone to find the American father she’s never met. Biracial, she is confronted with a resentful half-sister and a racist stepmother. The family maid and her rebellious fourteen-year-old son Diego are the only people who befriend her. Ayumi wants to be accepted by her new family, but how much of her true self must she give up?
A violin prodigy, Ayumi’s only solace is her music. Boys at school taunt her and steal her music books. When she is deprived of her violin, she feels like her mother has died all over again. With Diego’s help, she shocks even herself by doing the unthinkable.