The story spans over 70 years, from the 1930s till the present day.
Huang Juxiang is born into a large Peranakan family where her mother is a mistress. She is gentle, beautiful and a fantastic cook. Due to a serious illness when she was 9 years old, Juxiang becomes a deaf-mute. Because of her handicap, she is ostracized by people. Right before the Japanese Occupation in Singapore, she is forced to marry Charlie Zhang, a rich Peranakan, and become his mistress. Juxiang resists the marriage and runs away from home. She then meets Yamamoto Yousuke, a young Japanese photographer, and after overcoming many obstacles, they finally get married and Juxiang gives birth to a daughter Yueniang. During the World War, Juxiang is injured and both she and her husband die, leaving behind their 8-year-old daughter.
The orphaned Yueniang eventually walks to her grandfather's house on her own. Her grandmother rejoices for her presence. Under the supervision of her grandmother, she learns to cook Peranakan dishes and sewing. She grows up looking exactly like her mother and is exceptionally beautiful. After the war, her maternal relatives who ran away to England to seek refuge there returned home. Yueniang ends up leading the life of her mother – always discriminated against, beaten up and tortured. She puts up with all these in order to protect her grandmother.