When American soldiers departed Vietnam, many left children behind--like seventeen-year-old Loi, whose fellow villagers ostracize her because she is con-lai, a half-breed and a reminder of her country's tragic civil war. Only Khai, a young buffalo tender, shows her love and respect. Promised in an arranged marriage to a cruel older man, Loi flees to Ho Chi Minh City. Along with thousands of others, she applies for the chance to leave for the United States through the Amerasian Homecoming Program, and faces the most important decision of her life: Should she leave her beloved country, her family, and her gentle, loving Khai? Includes a reader's guide, an author's note, and a glossary of Vietnamese words.