Ekaterini, born at the beginning of last century in Thessaloniki, knows her own mind, and as a young girl she discovers her love of brightly coloured cloths and smart clothes, and starts an apprenticeship as a dressmaker. Against the wishes of her family, she marries a foreigner from Yugoslavia who is an immigrant worker in the port of Thessaloniki. She follows him to Belgrade. Here, not only does she have to learn the "odd" language and learn to live in an alien culture, but soon finds herself as a young widow having to bring her two small daughters safely through the Second World War. She raises her daughters Lucija and Ljubica with Spartan strength, shrewdness and courage during the socialist post-war period. She works briefly in a sewing co-operative. Because she refuses to cheer Stalin or to bend to the new political environment she loses her work. She makes herself "independent" and marries a much older, well-off accountant, who her daughter Lucija cannot accept. The second marriage only lasts two years. Once again thrown back on herself Ekaterini now sews for her "private customers" like the nouveau riche and arrogant wives of party dignitaries, and mixes in the elevated circles of the nomenklatura. After her divorce, her daughter Lucija and her daughter Marija, who wants to become a writer, move in with her. As an old woman with heart disease, Ekaterini lives through the collapse of Yugoslavia, the last Balkan war, the Kosovo crisis and the bombing of Belgrade. With Lucija and her ex-husband, Ekaterini flees to Greece. Her whole life she had been longing for her Greek relatives and the sea. Finally she finds her way back to them - forever.