The Second World War is drawing to an end as Red Army soldiers liberate Slovakia from Nazi occupation. The same soldiers, however, are also arresting thousands of innocent Slovak citizens on charges of spying for the enemy and then transporting them in cattle wagons to the USSR. They are forced to live and work in Siberian gulags, where conditions for life are appalling. Thus begins the moving story of Irena Kalaschová and her son, Ivan, who is born in one of the gulags. The novel is based on a true story.