Fleeing war-torn Britain and the threat of Nazi invasion, youngsters Michael Evans and Elizabeth Beauchamp become inseparable companions when they board the H.M.S. Empress of Wales, bound for New York. Elizabeth is comforted when Michael gives her an intricate gold cross which Michael recently received when an elderly British gentleman insisted he take it to thank him for his kindness. Upon arrival in New York the children are separated. Michaelís aunt and uncle become his guardians and provide him all the advantages their wealth affords. A successful stockbroker, he is engaged to Anne Gordon, who hails from a wealthy New York family. Elizabeth, who boarded the wrong ship in 1944, is presumed dead by her grieving English mother. Originally intended to disembark in Canada, no records identify her in New York. Assuming she is an orphan, Elizabeth is adopted by a loving American couple. Unknowingly, the lives of Michael and Elizabeth cross years later in small diner where Elizabeth works as a waitress while attending Columbia University. The two sense a common connection, but Michaelís impending marriage dampers hopes of a romantic relationship.