Set in Brittany from 1908–1918, two peasants marry, have a son, and live in traditional Breton ways which is three generations under one roof, a division of labor between the sexes, elders’ stories at night, politics and religion during their little free time. These are difficult times for them Ankou (death) is always a possibility. Pierre (Pêr-Jakez Helias as a child) is born into this provincial family, his lyric childhood interrupted by the outbreak of war and his father’s conscription. He learns his catechism and, as a child of a Reds, also reveres school. His grandfather and father often put him on their shoulders, giving him a ride on the horse of pride.