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Amsterdam in 1950 was a country moving out of the German occupation - a City bent on rooting out the collaborators of the war to mitigate some of the guilt of the past in the treatment of their Jews. Ruth is a refugee from Auschwitz having lost her family, her home and, almost, her reason. But, she is intelligent, and when she befriends a youth from a tugboat who also suffers from mental illness there is a remarkable meeting of minds, as both suffer from fear: one of the past and one of the future. The story tells of their road to rebuilding their lives, finding happiness again among the bustling harbour but, a place also where, through her loyalty to her new friends Ruth becomes entangled with the traffic in Dutch collaborators fleeing the country.