It starts off with a horrible incident during the 32/33 holodomor when the main character is a child, and then leaps ahead twenty years to the early fifties - up until the time that Stalin dies in March of 1953.
I'll just say the obvious. What happens in childhood shapes you into an adult. And I'd like to think that children authors can have an impact in that development. Reading a book is not just a trip in the mind, books can also become friends, mentors, and help us to understand our enemies. Wow! Books are amazing, aren't they?