This new short-story collection by the acclaimed author of The Walnut Tree beautifully captures a threatened way of life and a host of fascinating characters. Martha Blum has drawn upon the vivid memories of a childhood in her grandfather's village to create a vibrant and compelling world, a small Jewish village, or shtetl, in Ukraine in the early 1900s. The imagined village of Suczorno, "the live shtetl," offers "an array of the subtle and the crude, the imaginative, the God-inspired and the everyday ordinary, this canvas of colour and sound..." Here lives Sarah, whose "calling" is to know God and to participate fully in the spiritual life of her people. And Shimon, who travels to Chernowitz to apprentice as a printer, learns about the world of science and Socialism, but chooses to return home to his true love, Ethel. And here is Bimbule, a fool who makes a living from luft, from air. This is Suczorno: "A blessed place to live. Synagogue in the middle, cobblestones around it. Slate of green and gold around the fountain...Women from both sides of the divided town are here for its heavenly water. The rich from the high bank, the poor from the low bank. But no matter. So mortal, all of us."