Based on the true story of two friends who unite to help rescue immigrant women and girls in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the late 1890s.
When Tai Choi leaves her home in the Zhejiang province of China, she believes it’s to visit her grandmother. But despite her mother’s opposition, her father has sold her to pay his gambling debts. Alone and afraid, Tai Choi is put on a ship headed for “Gold Mountain” (San Francisco). When she arrives, she’s forced to go by the name on her forged papers: Tien Fu Wu.
Her new life as a servant is hard. She is told to stay hidden, stay silent, and perform an endless list of chores, or she will be punished or sold again. If she is to survive, Tien Fu must persevere, and learn who to trust. Her life changes when she’s rescued by the women at the Occidental Mission Home for Girls.
When Dolly Cameron arrives in San Francisco to teach sewing at the mission home, she meets Tien Fu, who is willful, defiant, and unwilling to trust anyone. Dolly quickly learns that all the girls at the home were freed from servitude and maltreatment, and enthusiastically accepts a role in rescuing more.
Despite challenges, Dolly and Tien Fu forge a powerful friendship as they mentor and help those in the mission home and work to win the freedom of enslaved immigrant women and girls.