After fleeing from civil war in her native Ethiopia, Zeynab attempted to immigrate to Canada with her five children. But during the immigration process, she became pregnant with her sixth child, Nasteha. When she tried to leave Kenya, she was forced to leave baby Nasteha behind. Three years later, a social service worker named Ruth Beardsley travels to Nairobi in an attempt to gain Nasteha’s trust – and bring her back to Vancouver and reunite her with her mother.
But Ruth’s journey is fraught with obstacles. She finds Nasteha in Nairobi, recovering from a bout of Malaria that could prevent her from travelling on a plane. The local immigration office erects a paperwork wall - demanding elusive travel documents that jeopardize years of preparation. And Nasteha’s trust is not won easy. She refuses to acknowledge Ruth, let alone show any signs that she’d cooperate on a thirty-hour journey halfway across the globe.
The greatest challenge of all comes when Ruth must tear Nasteha away from her Aunt Ebla – the woman who has been raising her in her mother’s absence since she was a baby. Ebla is the only mother Nasteha has ever known – and severing their bond proves to be more difficult than any of them – including Ruth – ever imagined.