Alex Haley (EVANS) joins the Coast Guard after leaving college. He meets and marries Nan Branch (ALLEN) before being sent to the South Pacific during WWII. In the service he also discovers a passion for writing inspired by a lucrative business writing love letters for his shipmates. After the war he reenlists and moves to New York with Nan and their two children. His marriage crumbles as he spends all of his time writing.