In the closing days of World War II, Pascale, a translator in the U.S. Women's Army Corps, impulsively rescues a Polish refugee. The refugee is wary as a wolf and, as Pascale instinctively knows, is a woman in disguise beneath her men's clothes.
Bound by a troubled spiritual kinship, both make promises they are determined to keep despite the chaos of war. Separated, they search for each other across war-torn Europe, hindered, helped, and manipulated by those they encounter —
Lucia, an Army nurse devoted to her own pleasure
Nell, a famous war correspondent with a subversive agenda
Sibylle, a French prostitute and former Nazi collaborator
Corinne, a blueblooded WAC officer with her own reasons for bending military rules —
until the two are brought together again, only to find themselves facing a final test of courage.
He looked at her outstretched hand.
Pascale gestured. "Przychoc!"
His eyes lit up; he started across the platform. The train began to roll and he quickened. The train was faster. Pascale braced herself on the handrail and leaned out. He ran full tilt for her, greatcoat streaming behind him. Pascale's hand touched his, gripped his sleeve. His fist closed around the handrail and he heaved himself on board, was on the step gasping, pressed against her for a second as he slipped, regained his footing, and now Pascale did know. The train shot free of the platform.
As it gathered speed, the bombed town rushing past them, Pascale found that she was holding onto the refugee's lapel like a police officer onto a ruffian. "Come inside," she told her in Polish.
The refugee stumbled up the steps. Pascale closed the outside door, the woman's breath rasping in the quiet, and took her to the compartment. The woman looked around as if at a palace.