Decades after the fires of the nuclear bombs dropped have stopped burning, a new society has formed. Living between the concrete blocks and smoking factories, Ve Klein tries to make a life for herself in the Nation that formed from the ashes.
Orphaned since she was a little girl and never having been assigned a husband by the Nation, Ve struggles to not only find her place in the world, but to survive among the separate communities and ranks of the Nation.
The nuclear winter is harsh, the factory work even harder. Food is scarce and traitors to the Nation are handled with an iron fist.
Ve counts her blessings since she has a job and a roof over her head. As the days pass by through a horrible nuclear winter, her future changes drastically when somebody close to her comes to an unexcepted decision with big consequences. She is forced to choose between the only people she has ever called family before or a new, prosperous life within the Nation.