Germany, 1939: “Quickly, take this emerald. This was my late mother’s gem, and it will keep you safe. And I promise, we will all meet again in Paris…”
When Sophie Weiss boards the SS St Louis, she has no reason to stay in Germany. The Nazis have taken everything from her, and her only hope is escape. But when she meets fellow Jewish refugees Rosa, Hannah and Rachel on board, the friendship they form gives Sophie hope that there can be happiness in her future, after all.
But their worst fears are realized when the boat is refused entry at a port they thought would be safe. Terrified of being sent back to Europe, the women cling together and desperately wait for news. At last, word reaches the ship that a friend of Sophie’s father is willing to take her in — but there is only room for her.
Quickly, Sophie unpicks the lining of her coat, revealing her late mother’s emerald hidden in the lining. She hands a piece of the precious stone to each of her friends, and the women promise to meet in Paris when this nightmare is over.
Watching the SS St Louis grow smaller on the horizon, Sophie’s heart breaks. How can she embrace her freedom when those she loves face an unknown fate? And what can she do to help them? Gripping her emerald with a fierce determination, she fixes her eyes on the boat: I will find a way to help you, no matter what…