The year is 1905. Elise works in a spinning mill in Christiania, Norway, (Oslo's former name) to provide for her family of six. With her mother ill, and her father a drunk, Elise and her sister are forced to work long hours and look after their younger siblings. Close to a river that runs through the city, with rough streams and waterfalls, the family lives in a place called Sagene. Johan, the strongest and most handsome young man in Sagene, lives one floor under them. He and Elise are childhood friends - and sweethearts.
An extremely cold January day Elise finds a little object in the snow. That incident brings dramatic changes in the lives of Elise and Johan. Johan studied it a second, and looked her in the eye. “Where did you find it?”
“Right outside here. I’m so scared someone will think I stole it. What do you think I should do with it? Should I go to the police? Or to the director? Maybe it’s his daughter who lost it?”
Johan stood and thought a minute, then stuck it in his own pocket.
Southerly Wind is the story about Elise's life, her struggle to avoid poverty and the love she experiences inspite of pressing despair.