Davita's harp hangs on the door of her parents' shabby apartment, its sound a comforting constant in the midst of uncertainty. Her Jewish mother and Gentile father are passionate Communists, often shunned in 1930s New York. But as Europe disintegrates, their idealism buckles, and the close-knit family is shattered when Davita's father goes to war in Spain. Religion offers Davita somewhere to belong, but at a price. In the conflict between the old laws of Judaism and her questioning intelligence, Davita must find her own constant, her own reason to go on.