A brilliantly researched and exquisitely told tale of love, death, and heartbreak which explores some of the most important and devastating events of twentieth-century Europe. Miriam Rabin, a bright, headstrong young woman, grows up in North Wales in the early years of the twentieth century determined to make the most of her life. Her ambitions are thwarted after her mother's death and she seems destined to live out her days as the obscure wife of a hill farmer, although her political beliefs provide her with some respite. In her early thirties, though, a major tragedy changes her life forever. Suddenly Miriam - alongside her equally headstrong sister Esther - finds herself fighting against Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. Circumstances then lead her to Russia at the turn of World War II, where she becomes an officer in Stalin's feared secret police, the NKVD ... Miriam's fervour, passions, heartbreak, and determination lead her along a risky path through the most troubled times of the last hundred years. And, when the future looks ever more uncertain, what becomes of the loved ones she left behind?