The story is about six million dollars in gold coins. The protagonist, Joe Wolfe, is a Jewish adolescent in Poland at the beginning of World War II. The story follows him through interment in Buchenwald Concentration Camp and the eventual reunion with his father, who has stolen the gold from the Nazis. They migrate to America, where Joe makes a new best friend in Jimmy Shea. Both men enlist to fight in the Korean War. They finally return home and purchase the marina from the widow of the marina owner. The story continues through building the marina during the Cold War while waiting for conditions in Europe to open the Iron Curtain and retrieve the gold. Joe also suffers from alcoholism in his early life.