A tale of love, revenge and survival against the odds, set in Venice and Russia in the 1940s.'A profoundly moving novel with echoes of Vasily Grossman that sweeps you from Russia to Italy over the course of a gripping, richly evocative and atmospheric tale' -- Alex PrestonRussia, 1943. A girl from Leningrad and a soldier from Venice stand together on the edge of wilderness. He is a shadow of a man, trapped behind wire, an enemy in her land. Taking something from her pocket, she slips her hand through the wire and catches her skin on a barb, producing a tiny drop of blood. 'Have this.' The man takes the gift -- a small crust of bread, a little piece of hope. Its memory will nourish him, keep him alive, on his long journey home to Italy.But when he returns, he must decide which path to take -- to be true to the love of the girl who saved his life, or to pursue his unfulfilled vow and seek revenge on the man who had ruined his home and his family.