Marjan is the daughter of the Kashvili chieftain, the most powerful man in their province in Persia. Beautiful and educated, she was married at age nine to a rich merchant who is absent for months at a time. When he does return, his obligation to his two other wives keep him away from Marjan, leaving her sad and lonely.
Russ is a British Christian missionary doctor stationed in Shiraz just as World War II is breaking out. He is a handsome man with golden hair and green eyes, which catches the attention of many women. Thirty-five years and single, Russ wants something more than the love of God and the satisfaction of helping people achieve health.
When Marjan and Russ meet, desire surges through each of them. In spite of all the obstacles between them -- his deep Christian beliefs, her married life, the different cultures they grow up in, and the fact that they could be stoned to death for engaging in an affair - they fall in love. After a religious cleric discovers their affair, a mob of fundamentalists breaks into Marjan's house and threaten not only their love but their lives.