My novel opens at the June 1940 regional Song Festival that took place in Daugavpils, Latvia. My grandmother Emma was there. President Ulmanis was also supposed to attend but events prevented him from coming and he addressed the attendees by radio instead. Soviet troops had attacked Latvian border guards at Maskenki, killing three border guards and two civilians, as well as taking 10 border guards and 27 civilians as hostages. The pictures in this book are the only ones I could find of the event. Little did anyone know that only a few days later, Latvia would be occupied by the Soviets.