1930; Poland’s economy is beginning to suffer as a result of the Great Depression. Kind-hearted but naive Marianna lives with her parents in the rural village of Zalipie in southeast Poland. This small farming community is all she has ever known, and she dreams of a different life in the city. A whirlwind romance with Leon, a dashing but egotistical musician, leads to a hasty marriage providing her with an opportunity for change. Leon’s father, Stanislaw, runs the local grocery store in Kazimierz, a busy district of Krakow. His fellow shopkeepers and their families are a close-knit, diverse community and they welcome the couple with open arms, but the lives of the inhabitants of this small row of shops will be changed forever by the arrival of the newlywed couple. Using rich descriptive prose, Barbara Pearman sets a series of scenes around everyday life that provide a range of insights into the diverse cast of characters’ personal lives, recollections and sometimes wild imaginings.