Illiterate and speaking only Yiddish, Raisa travels from her small polish village to New York city in search of her older sister, Hendra, and a new life. Raisa "adopts" a younger girl, Brina, whose mother dies on the rough voyage. Penniless in NYC, 1910, Raisa and Brina live with the Kamensky family, while Raisa works as a seamstress at the triangle Shirtwaist Factory and, surprising herself, falls in love with Gavriel Kamensky and learning to read. The Asch building (housing the triangle Shirtwaist Factory burns in March of 1911. 146 of the locked in workers die, and bereaved families lives are turned upside down. All are enraged by the "not guilty" verdict in the trail of the building owners. Months of searching for the missing Gavriel and Hendra nearly destroys Raisa's spirit, until a lucky break turns the tables toward realized dreams!