It is 1961 and Goa is under Portuguese rule. In the heart of Panjim, life is as usual on the banks of the river Mandovi. Thirteen-year-old Shirly Quarachim's idyllic days include outings to her father's mines, convent school shenanigans and prep for an upcoming musical. She is also falling in love for the first time.
But the drums of war are being readied. Indian forces amass across the border, while the Portuguese dictator António Salazar is determined to burn everything down before giving up Goa. When Shirly's beloved father is arrested on charges of treason, she must put her teenage reveries aside and face off against intimidating dhowmen, resistance fighters and a sadistic police officer who loves a bit of torture.
Through this exquisite tale of a girl on the cusp of womanhood, Rescuing a River Breeze draws a vivid portrait of a bygone era and a people wrestling with identity and nationhood.