Buzzy comes home to Rodanthe on Hatteras Island to discover the love of his life, a beautiful ainoko (Japanese for Love Child) has taken their child and fled to her family's home in West Virginia because she felt alienated by their Jap-hating neighbors. With his father's blessing, money, and manpower, Buzzy sets out to bring them back. They are met by a hail of bullets resulting in the death of Lotty's mother.
Feeling sad and alone, Lotty flees again with the child only then discovering he has cystic fibrosis. She takes any job and does whatever is necessary to keep the boy alive and out of his father's reach. She shrewdly plays Buzzy for money when times are desperate. She accepts help and protection from whatever source presents itself-anything and everything a good mother does for her offspring. The near-death experiences Lotty endures over the years are wrenching for her, but unknown to Buzzy, whose only interest is custody at whatever cost.
Money and desperation combine to reunite the parents in the end. Lotty needs medical help for the child, whose health is rapidly declining and Buzzy is persuaded it is time to pay up. Does common sense and redemption finally win out?