The main character, Roman, escaped from Ukraine in 1943 at the age of 8. He is now a farmer living in Vegreville, Alberta. We begin Roman's journey a week after his wife, Kalyna's death. His grief is debilitating and he struggles to carry on. By nature,
he is quiet, and like many of those that survived but did not escape the horrors of the war, he has a deep need to keep his emotions and memories of that time at a safe distance.