Israeli writer Amos Oz reflects on his memories of growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood with his his academic father, Arieh, and his imaginative mother, Fania. They were one of many Jewish families who moved to Palestine from Europe during the 1930s and '40s to escape persecution. The terror of war is followed by the tedium of everyday life, which weighs heavily on Fania's spirit. To cheer herself and to entertain 10-year-old Amos, she makes up stories of adventure. Amos is enraptured as she explains words and language to him in a way that will influence his writing later in life. When independence doesn't bring with it the renewed sense of life that Fania has hoped for, she slips into solitude and sadness. Unable to help her, Amos must say good-bye before he is ready. As he witnesses the birth of a nation, he must come to terms with his own new beginning. Based on the memoir written by Amos Oz.