This story is based on actual events. Anna Kroeker, whose life is reconstructed as the character Mia, lived through the turmoil of collectivization in the Stalinist Era. When she was nearly ninety, she was allowed to emigrate to Germany. It was there that she met the author and recounted the events of her turbulent life in Kyrgyzstan. Based on Anna Kroeker's descriptions, the author portrays five early years of Anna Kroeker's life.
The story takes place in Russia during Stalin's iron rule; the time frame is 1950 to 1955. Mia is a strong character whose sense of justice does not allow her to keep quiet about some of the gross injustices done to people during this time. ...In a simple yet profound way, Jantzen sketches the portrait of a woman whose pain and anguish do not destroy her. Rather, her faith in God and compassion for others become an example to many. We who have so much can learn a great deal from one who had very little. -- Mennonite Brethren Herald