Fanya Gottesfeld-Heller recounts her girlhood years during World War II, spent in increasing poverty and restriction and in the midst of horrid cruelties. Born in the Jewish shetl of Skala in Poland, in what is now Ukrania, Mrs. Heller was 15 when, in the middle of the night, the Germans arrived to round up the town's Jews. The Jews were taken out of the town, forced to dig their own graves, and shot. Mrs. Heller's beloved father had constructed a hiding place for their large family and so they survived that first purge. But that began four years of increasing privation: near-starvation, the desperate search for someplace to hide or someone to hide them, loss of family members, grotesque cruelties by the villagers. Mrs. Heller's admirer, Jan, a Gentile carpenter, first hid her at his house, then arranged with a former employee of Mr. Gottesfeld for the immediate family of four to be hidden at a farm. Their food and their accomodations became increasingly restricted, until they spent several months in a space behind the chicken coop, so small that if one moved, all had to move. Mrs. Heller also recounts the story of her developing love for Jan, and the strange turns that war brought to that love. Mrs. Heller writes beautifully. The engrossing story moves quickly, but retains the details and descriptions that make real her descriptions of the shtetl, her beloved parents and grandparents, and the life that they lived before the war. She is unstinting in her portrayals of wartime, telling us the worst as well as the best; but all of it in a matter-of-fact way. To read this book and spend a little time with a remarkable woman was a privilege.