Mr. Shi is a retired widower from Beijing. When his daughter Yilan, who lives in the US, divorces, he decides to visit her in the small town where she works as a librarian. His intention is to stay with her until he helps her recover from the trauma.
Mr. Shi likes to tell the people he meets in America that he's a "rocket scientist", enjoying their attention. But Yilan is less enthusiastic about his showing off, nor is she interested in his plan to rescue her marriage and reconstruct her life. When Mr. Shi insists on finding out the reason for the divorce, Yilan starts to avoid him.