The Hanoi Bride (Cô dâu Hà Nội) is a novel written by Madame Butterfly. A long time ago, their lived a a young couple, the Woman and her Husband. When the woman leaves the city to see her sick mother, her husband dies in a fatal car accident. Unable to return back to Hanoi because he Husband no longer is there, she stays with her mother. She becomes greatly depressed and joins the Red District, where she becomes uncomfortable as men touches her and she runs away after the first night with a stranger. Planning to commit suicide at a temple, she meets a beautiful young boy during the Lunar New Year, where the Woman doesn't believe in love anymore, and the boy wishes to find love again. She changes her mind, and decides to go back to Hanoi, to see her husbands family. While there, she has been keeping contact with a New York Artist, a stranger she has never met, but has a great interest in her, and wants to marry her. She decides to accept the Artist marriage proposal, and he flies himself to meet her.
She then meets up with with her husband's friends, only when the reader finds out that she lied to herself and everyone that her husband "died" in a car accident, so it would hurt her less emotionally. The reader finds out that her Husband cheated on her with a new girl, and she thus never returned to live with him again. She meets him briefly to collect their wedding ring, and throws it into the River, saying a farewell to the young lovers they once were. The Artist, notices that she doesn't desire him after a few sexual encounter at a hotel. The artist, a lonely middle-aged artist, sees that she is unhappy with him, and allows her to be free to love anyone else. He becomes inspired by her story and begins to paint again. The woman learns to love herself and forgiven herself and that she should never lower her standards. She plans and hopes to meet the young man she met at the temple, next year, for the Lunar New year.