The author recalls a number of incidents that occurred during his childhood and youth in his native village in the Ukraine. He gives a picture of the pre-Soviet days when the Tsar was still the ""little Father"", God's emissary on earth, and head of the Church. The lot of the peasants, their daily life, customs, pleasures and sorrows, with the ever-present undercurrents of programs, beatings by tax collectors, and other forms of accepted oppression, come out in this nevertheless somewhat nostalgic book. Red and white weddings, monastic education, attitudes toward unmarried mothers, the relation of the people to their Church, and various other strands making up a way of life in a village of lively, uneducated, superstitious, hard-working folk described with no great force but with pleasant (sometimes one wonders why) remembrance. Mild.