A girl, Carola, whose vacation in Kenya takes an interesting turn when she becomes infatuated with a Masai. Carola decides to leave her boyfriend to stay with her lover. There, she has to adapt to the Masai's way of life and get used to their food which includes milk mixed with blood. She also has to face her husband's attitude towards women and what he expects from a wife. Nonetheless, Carola is welcomed warmly into the tribe she has chosen to join.
Drifter Cole Harden is accused of stealing a horse and faces hanging by self-appointed Judge Roy Bean, but Harden manages to talk his way out of it by claiming to be a friend of stage star Lillie Langtry, with whom the judge is obsessed, even though he has never met her. Tensions rise when Harden comes to the defense of a group of struggling homesteaders who Judge Bean is trying to drive away.
Stingo, a young writer, moves to Brooklyn in 1947 to begin work on his first novel. As he becomes friendly with Sophie and her lover Nathan, he learns that she is a Holocaust survivor. Flashbacks reveal her harrowing story, from pre-war prosperity to Auschwitz. In the present, Sophie and Nathan's relationship increasingly unravels as Stingo grows closer to Sophie and Nathan's fragile mental state becomes ever more apparent.
An ambitious lumberjack abandons his saloon girl lover so that he can marry into wealth, but years later becomes infatuated with the woman's daughter.