Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.
Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents.
The routine of their hard, impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander.
The family suffers as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it.
Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's vast war machine and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.