Marta is unhappy. For quietly aloof Gregory and his sister Janet, Marta, with her thick Ukrainian accent, her good cooking, and her stories, is the anchor of the house. Mother and Father, both busy architects, are gone all day and sometimes at night. Marta is always there; and the children, sensing her unhappiness, do not want her to go away.
When they find out that Marta desires a “good place” in the kitchen, nine-year-old Gregory, with precocious young Janet in tow, sets out to find her a Ukrainian icon in busy, modern London.
Overwhelmed, frustrated and even humiliated in the search, Gregory does not give up nor retreat into his silence. Rather, with each difficulty Gregory begins to draw from his own unexpected and untapped well of faith and resourcefulness. Master storyteller Rumer Godden deftly brings to life a portrait of a lonely boy discovering the creative power of love.