When the story begins, freedom is just a dream for David, a young boy who has grown up a captive in a 1950s Bulgarian camp with almost no knowledge of the outside world or what has become of his family. His fellow prisoner and mentor Johannes has taught everything he knows about life to him. One night, David escapes the camp, fleeing with a compass, half a loaf of bread and a sealed letter, which he is told must reach Denmark--the only place where he will be safe. Relying on his wits and courage, David manages to evade the prison commandos and attempt a dangerous border crossing into Greece, where he stows away on a freighter headed for Italy, but his adventure is only just beginning. While David is exhilarated by his freedom, he has no idea how to get along in this brave new world, as the only advice he has been given is to trust no one. Burdened by his duty to deliver the mysterious letter, David valiantly continues on his journey, and nearing the Swiss border, he meets Sophie, an artist recovering from her own tragedy and the woman who will ultimately help him find the key to his identity and his destiny.