The memoir depicts a personal portrait of Regina, a gifted, young woman grown into adulthood amid a world convulsed by a gruesome war. At 14, she bravely ventured, at night, across the new Soviet-German border to arrange the rescue of her mother and little brother stranded on the German side of the border. Two years later, she fearlessly fought off the Soviet camp commander's attempt to rape her. Shortly after the family's arrival in Kyrgyzstan, the father disappeared and Regina took charge of the family, to stave off hunger and cold. Bold and resourceful, she saved her father several times, upon his rejoining the family, from the jaws of the Soviet secret police intent on sending him, again, to the front. Determined to be a physician, she succeeded to attend Moscow Medical School, and after coming to this country, fought against odds to enter Harvard Medical School.
This personal drama bears vivid testimony to the courage and resilience of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who - homeless, penniless, and often ill - clung to life, hope, and the pursuit of their aspirations.