In nineteen twenties Berlin, Lotte falls in love with Niko, an exotic Greek architect and follows him to his native country. Tician, their adored only child, is born there. The family soon includes Papous, the boy's grandfather and companion, Rosa the black maid, and Kaiti, who introduces Tician to the ways of carnal love. An idyllic childhood ends when Germans occupy Greece. There are cadavers in the street and Nazi teachers in school. The bitter civil war that follows forces the family to flee through combat lines to safety. Three decades of Europe's most explosive time form the background of this memoir. Events range from the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the famous Greek "Oxhi" of 1940, to the horrors of Auschwitz. History becomes personal when the author sees Hitler in Berlin and cheers Churchill in Athens.