Anna is six years old when she and her mother leave Poland for France. She only partially understands what is happening to her, yet senses that her life will never again be the same. It is the year 1938. In 1939, the war comes. Around her, adults speak of "foreigners", and of "Jews". She is not particularly concerned. But soon, she will be forced to separate from those closest to her and go into hiding. Anna is soon taken in by country folk from the village of Chambon-sur-Lignon. Hard working farmers with good hearts, they have little time or affection to spare. There, she is thrust headlong into a harsh daily routine. There are cows to milk, animals to feed, food rations to collect, and water to be fetched. Though still so young, she must put thoughts of her mother and her tenderness behind her in order to go on. She seeks solace at school, and there finds a mentor and friend in her young teacher, Cécile Tournon. One day, a strange man comes to speak before the class. He asks if there are any « foreign » children among them. Cécile answers no. The man then interrogates Anna, who learns that day that in such times it is best not to reveal too much about oneself. The author, inspired by the true story of her own mother’s childhood, renders a moving through resolutely unsentimental account of those harrowing years. What emerges is a powerful and honest coming-of-age tale that readers will not soon forget.