Vera Mueller is forced to flee Berlin in 1938 when her family is destroyed in the aftermath of Kristallnacht. A refugee in Blitz-shattered London, she meets a young American airman, Paul Kahn. Despite their youth, their love is strong and full of passion, fuelled by the danger of their situation. Not knowing how long they might have together, they marry.
Vera thinks her dreams have come true when Paul survives and they travel together to his hometown in upstate New York. She has gained a family, of her own faith. She has traded poverty for comfort; the Kahns are gunsmiths and have made a huge profit from the war. But Paul hates the family business. "Guns don't kill," Vera insists. "People kill."
Vera's own commercial acumen is a great asset to the company. Yet she cannot ignore Paul's point of view when a tragedy destroys their happiness. Through the years of the Korean crisis, the Vietnam war and the growing calls for gun control, Vera must balance the security of her family against the protests of a changing world. Whatever happens, she must have Paul - her own passionate obsession.