This is a gentle yet jaunty tale of a young married woman besotted through three seasons of infatuation for an elusive lover. The author takes ""great-grandmother"" (this is, she states, a true tale) through a Moldavian village year as she dutifully attends a kind, scholarly husband, adopts waifs (ragged children, a tattered dog) and aches with longing for Avram, a lame, well-to-do cattle dealer, and possibly a thief. ""The heart shouldn't live like that, torn and divided,"" says the ""healing Aquarius"" in the guise of a bucket peddler (one of the misty folk-ornaments here). But great-grandmother, her soul abroad in the villages in search of Avram, thinks that with a heart in more than one place, one may ""know more about the world."" The lovers finally meet alone, both saying no and meaning yes, in a hot autumn haze. But fate, in the form of a knock at the door, leaves their love unconsummated. Winter sets in, violent and real, the woman buries her dream. With a pungent background of village cacophony, an appealing tale of the last summer of a young erotic self told with considerable charm.