Lise is a young female Novo Homonid or Novonid, a member of an artificial humanoid species created on Planet Varada for slave labor. Novonids originally were created as farm laborers: to harvest pomma, the staple grain on Varada. Novonids are genetically engineered with green, chlorophyl-rich skin to derive nourishment from sunshine; and this made them perfect for working in the fields. Now, as their population increases the Homo Sapiens inhabitants of Varada are finding Novonids useful as low- and no-wage labor in the cities.
In the capital city of Vyonna a run-down sector called the Green Zone has been set aside as a ghetto that serves as housing of last resort for Novonids. Some residents are slaves of unscrupulous owners too miserly to provide housing. Others are renegades and runaways hiding from bounty hunters.
Lise has been sold to a benevolent slave breeder who rents out her services as a nanny to a Human, middle-aged single mother. Through no fault of her own Lise clashes with the police who believe she is a renegade slave.
Lise also becomes the object of a forbidden romance by Thomm, an ex-slave trader who now is on a mission to improve the Novonids' treatment and eventually to emancipate them. At the same time, an uprising in the Green Zone threatens to bring retribution from the planet's brutal ruling authority. Lise discovers her Novonid boyfriend, Tagg, is involved in the insurrection and tries to use her relationship with Thomm to intervene. Thomm, however, has his own agenda.
Lise is a character-driven, coming-of-age story in a science-fiction setting. It continues the story from The Lost Colony, volume V of The Earthbound Series.