The setting here is a Greek agricultural estate where the activities include most phases of farming (grain, cattle, etc.) and where many of the neighboring villagers are connected one way or another with the farm in a semi-feudal fashion. There's an aura of classic rusticity, somewhat unrealistic in its beauty and enduring qualities. Against this is told the story of several people, in particular that of Panayis, a peasant, who had returned from the wars to find everything he valued destroyed so that he even doubts the survival of his feelings for the girl he loved since childhood, Maria. When he at last recognizes his true sentiments, it is too late. To American readers, there may seem an over-simplication in style and substance but this is in keeping with the essence of the theme.