A strenuous but effective tale of a Romanian peasant girl and her painful struggle for learning and a life beyond the maize fields. Life for twelve-year-old Annuzza was hard and often cruel with parents oblivious of any world beyond their farm. When Annuzza won a scholarship to the town high school she met with rebuffs from her heavy drinking father, her scoffing brother, sceptical mother, pessimistic Bunika, the grandmother. Only her lovely sister, Kuza, gave her encouragement but even Kuza warned her about leaving her own. Four years go by and the decision must be made -- to move into the glib world of the town (represented by wealthy friend Nadine and handsome Nelo) or to return to her home where she is needed and loved by her family and Marcel who wishes to marry her. A happy solution -- teaching and anticipated marriage to Marcel - may raise some questions and the family is somewhat removed from Father Knows Best (Bunika is the nastiest old grandma ever), but the local detail rings true and this is meaty emotional fare for the middle teens.