This is a story of the life of an 11-year-old Thai girl named Duangkaew. The story begins at the time her mother dies, her older sister leaves the family and Duangkaew is given the responsibility to care for the home. She has to balance school, shopping, cooking, laundry and other home tasks, and friends.
One day a total stranger enters her life. He is a European businessman that has befriended Duangkaew's aunt. He makes a great impression during a brief visit to Duangkaew's school when he visits all the English foreign language classes. Then he is drawn into a scheme to start a shrimp farm. In his own way he tries to assist Duangkaew in expanding her world beyond the local village.
There is a major flood that occurs and the families in the village suffer great losses. The shrimp farm is washed away. The American businessman returns to the village to find his investment is literally in the ocean. He takes a dramatic step to assist Duangkaew and her family and give the young girl hope for the future.
The text includes approximately 30 commonly used words that are always displayed in the Thai language.
The author spent his childhood on a cattle, wheat and alfalfa ranch in Washington State. After graduation from college, he traveled extensively during more than 30 years as an officer in the U.S. Army. His duty posts included Germany, Panama, Korea and Vietnam. Upon retirement he has worked at various endeavors and currently travels with his backpack approximately three months each year, primarily to Southeast Asia countries. He has been married more than 50 years to his high school sweetheart and has four children and seven grandchildren and step grandchildren.