How many great loves can one have in a lifetime? One, according to Irina – if you're lucky. Just as, after two children and a failed marriage, she expects nothing more from life, she meets Kjamal. He is Azerbaijani, young, handsome – and smells of strawberries, black currant leaves and fresh hay. Kjamal lives with Irina, but cannot marry her – after all, she is not of his religion. Years later, as civil war erupts in Azerbaijan and the hunt for Russians begins, Irina returns to Moscow, hoping to stay with her children. But they now have their own lives – tinged with dashed hopes, alcohol and bitterness. Irina battles on, as one illusion after another is destroyed. Until the day that Kjamal arrives in Moscow.