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Six chapters in the book, like six stars in one constellation, contain the names Maria, Emma, Valentina, Gennady, Larissa and John. Maria, a Russian beauty, is a symbol of love, determination and devotion to the family- a stronghold and a real survivor through the Russian turmoil. Emma, Maria's eldest daughter, wounded during the second World War at age 7, carried her grief through her whole life. Valentina, Maria's second daughter, optimistic by nature, made her life roads in her own way. Gennady, Maria's only son, was her favourite and beloved most of all. Larissa, Maria's grandaughter, is described from a parental point of view. John's true story was to be the conclusion of this book but became the beginning of a new chapter of the author's life: it has become another story for another time.

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