In1910, George's widowed mother had no money for her daughter Adonia's dowry, so she let her teenage son George go alone to America to make money for his sister. He worked shining shoes and then as a busboy in New York. He learned some English, but after a year he had nothing. He moved to Chicago to work in a factory and then bought an ice cream cart. Working with his wife and son, he started an ice cream shop. This historical novel tells the story of the struggles and success of George's family.