Lucy faces the first challenges of her childhood when she begins to attend elementary and high school. She is torn between the ideologically saturated school and home where old values and traditions prevail. She learns to cover up her true belief and masters to perfection to live with a double face, the feature she carries over into adult life.
Thirst for knowledge and strong will takes her to Vilnius where she studies foreign languages at the university. She remains unshakable to the core regarding her personal convictions and refuses to join the Communist Party. Brought up in the national spirit, she knows what it means to be deprived of freedom as a nation and as a Lithuanian. With her unbending spirit, she is about to climb to the heights of her career as a translator when inevitable happens. During the interview with the chief of the KGB, Lucy has to make a choice: either she becomes a Party member and joins the ranks of the Soviet spies abroad or she quits her favorite job. She chooses the latter.
The refrain to be free because I was born to be free is not only the main theme of the novel but also Lucy's driving force through her life. Her dream to become free comes finally true when she arrives in Chicago. However, her new country and the unknown future take her into another whirlpool of adventures.