1921. A band of young Jewish pioneers, many escaping violent homelands, have set out to realize a utopian dream--the founding of a kibbutz--on a patch of land that will later become Israel. Seeing inside the minds of three key characters depicts how idealism quickly tumbles into pragmatism, and how the utopian dream is punctured by messy human entanglements. This is also the story of the land itself (present-day Israel and Palestine), revealing with sympathy and terrible irony how the enthusiastic newcomers chose to ignore the subtle but undeniable fact that their valley was already populated, home to a people that the pioneers did not want to see. These characters who, isolated in the enclosure of their hard-won utopian dream, are haunted by ghosts, compromised by unbearable secrets, and finally, despite flashes of love and hope, worn down by hardship, human frailty, the difficulties of "equality" and the pull of violent confrontation.