Soon, homemaking in Abadan is interrupted by a brief trip to the U.S. where Isabel must apply for Green Card renewal. She kisses her children good-bye and leaves them with her husband and nanny. On Isabel's trip back to Iran, during a layover in Frankfurt, she is informed that her husband is no longer working for Iran Air and that there is no forwarding address. Stranded, without any idea of her children's whereabouts, and with no visa and little money, Isabel resorts to waiting tables at the flight crew-frequented hotel where she is staying.
In time word comes that he is working in Pakistan. With a borrowed stewardess uniform she travels to Karachi and rejoins her eager children and reluctant husband. Following a period of normal family life, including moves to Dacca and back, he suddenly departs with the children, leaving her abandoned. "I cried quietly as the rickshaw gently rocked through the city, the Karachi streets still bustling with people at this hour. I hated the position these men had put me in. I had no money, no plans, no family or friends to turn to, and no assurance that tomorrow might be better."
But things do get better. That evening, favored by universal energies, she meets Prince Jean Claude Donzé, which sparks not only an intense romance, but serves as the beginning of Isabel's journey to be reunited with her children.