Josephine escapes poverty by coming to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a maid, where she meets Rashid, an idealistic only son with literary aspirations. Josephine, with all the wide-eyed naivety of youth, believes she has found true love. But when she becomes pregnant, and with the rumble of war growing ever louder, Rashid bows to family and social pressure and sends her back home with her baby son, Jos.
Land of No Rain takes place in Hamiya, a fictional Arab country run by military commanders who treat power as a personal possession to be handed down from one generation to the next. The main character was forced into exile from Hamiya twenty years earlier for taking part in a failed assassination attempt on the military ruler known as the Grandson.