The Second World War -- the worst thing that ever happened. It began in September 1939, with Hitler's Wehrmacht invading Poland from the west, while Stalin's Red Army stormed in from the east. Among their victims was a five-year-old named Basia Deszberg. The Russians shot her father and brother in the Katyn Forest, then loaded Basia, her sister, and her mother into a cattle car for a horrific three-week journey to the steppes of Kazakhstan, there to survive as best they could. Over the next eight years, they would escape through Persia, Lebanon, and Egypt to find safe haven in England.By contrast, Daniel Ford grew up in a United States mired by the Great Depression. Europe's agony was America's windfall! Dan went from hardscrabble poverty to a college degree and a fellowship that took him to the English university where Basia too was a student. This is the story of their meeting, their travels, and their parting. It is, promises the author, both a love story and a history lesson, and one you will never forget. "An extraordinary book," wrote Cosmopolitan Review, "highly original, gripping, at once full of joy and of sorrow."