Destined to marry his stateside girlfriend after returning from his tour of duty in Vietnam, supply officer Lt. Jake Nelson keeps the numerous prostitutes of Saigon at arm's length. That is, until the resolute lieutenant meets a prostitute who loathes his privileged American judgment as much as he loathes those in her line of work.
Tran Thi Mai—who uses her French name, Elise—is a devout Catholic and the sole caretaker of her nephew. She works as a prostitute to provide them both with food and shelter but longs for a life more attuned to her beliefs. Her beauty and modesty attract Jake like a siren's song toward emotional destruction while he unlocks her secrets, forcing him to take an honest look at himself.
As the Viet Cong secretly plan their nightmarish Tet Offensive, Jake and Elise set plans for their future—and when Jake has set things, they always happen as planned. But has fate, influenced by war, set different plans for them?