A Jewish girl finds refuge with a village outcast during WWII in this “elegantly crafted, beautifully written novel about love, survival and hope” (William Ryan).
In a small Eastern European village, fifteen-year-old Yael is on the run from Nazi invaders. The so-called village idiot, Aleksei is a solitary mute who does not want for company. But as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes Yael in. As she begins to win his trust, a delicate relationship develops between them.
But beyond Aleksei’s remote homestead, the war rages on, and Yael cannot hide forever. A Jewish partisan group is organizing in the woods to mount a counterattack. Torn between her love and her need to fight, Yael must find her voice as the voices around her are being extinguished.