Inspired by true events, its action moving from the idyllic countryside ot Lithuania to St Petersburg, Warsaw, Berlin and New York, Feet of Wax depicts the separation and trials of two young people and their families during World War 1. Entrusted with the care of her frail father and taking refuge with a wealthy uncle in St Petersberg, Wanda falls in love with George, a radical student from Warsaw. Conscripted into the tsarist infantry, George is caught up in revolutionary currents at the front, while Wanda witnesses a city turning from fashionable glitter to peaceful protest, then revolution, as the effects of war and hunger set in. When the German front advances through Polish and Lithuanian lands, Russia's Empire is in meltdown. Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, and Pilsudski, the leader of the Poles, are poised to make their mark on history. Wanda and George are forced to decide: become Bolsheviks, or flee through a landscape ravaged by war. Joanna Hempel - formerly one of Australia's leading playwrights for young people - brings her skills as a dramatist to Feet of Wax, a novel informed by family journals. Based on her grandparents' lives during the disintergration of the Russian Empire and the re-birth of Poland, it reveals Eastern Europe as it changes forever.