Taking place on the remote island of Myrskyluoto (Stormskerry) in the 19th century, the film follows Maija, first a young hesitant girl, a thinker chained down by religion. As she is married off to Janne, an unusually egalitarian and enlightened man, they begin a life of relentless hard work for survival, through which Maija unexpectedly discovers love, carnality, and joyous passion with Janne. Having grown up in a world of old values, Maija awakens with an awareness that a woman can be an equal operator instead of a mere bystander. Their idyllic family life however is soon shattered as war encroaches on the island and the real fight for survival begins as Maija must face perils of both soldiers and the sea. Under the pressure, Maija discovers within herself a courageous and resourceful woman, who finds the will to carry her family through the hard times and tragedy that rage on Myrskyluoto.