Maria’s lifelong dream is to seek a better life. It is not only a communist regime from which she flees, but also a past of poverty, violence and exploitation, as she shoulders burdens beyond her years — especially through the Second World War. Maria and Nik escape from Yugoslavia, and after months in a refugee camp and a baby on the way, they embark the SS Begona bound for an unknown country — Australia.
Life is good at the Villawood Migrant Hostel — the future promising, until Maria and Nik observe that not all is right with their baby daughter, Milena. After continual rejection from a young age, Milena gradually loses her sense of belonging. Being a migrant family proves challenging, and Milena finds herself in a place her mother vowed would never happen — a place that compromises her self-worth even more.
Emerging as a young woman, Milena fears judgment, yet she is eager to succeed. First, Milena must face her biggest obstacle — societal attitudes.
Milena has doubts when Daniel, a father of two, proposes. But the need to prove that she too is worthy of love takes over. Could being a wife and stepmother afford her the recognition she so desperately craves? She accepts. However, Daniel has his own demons.
A pivotal moment occurs after Robert comes along where Milena begins a journey of self-discovery that unleashes an inner power she never knew she possessed, and she develops a new perspective on the human condition.