Cyprus in the run up to the civil war of the 1970s – the threat of it hangs in the atmosphere like a fine mist. A terrible thing, war. Against this backdrop of war and violence, the island’s inhabitants make the best they can of their lives, building friendships, falling in love, having children, watching people die, making mistakes. Maria Petrakis, however, flees a brutal marriage on the island where she has always lived for London and a new start. She opens a bakery on Green Lanes in Harringay – the centre of the small Greek Cypriot community whose residents have settled there to escape the war and start again. Here she comes into her own as she heals and atones through the kneading of bread and the selling of shamali cakes and cinnamon pastries to her customers.