Elena Gorokhova wishes her mother had come from Leningrad, the world of Pushkin and the tsars, lace ironwork and pearly domes. Its sophistication might have left a permanent mark of refinement on her soul.
But she didn't.
She came from the provincial town of Ivanovo in central Russia, where chickens lived in the kitchen and a pig squatted under the stairs.
She came from where they lick plates.
Read by Sian Thomas
A Jane Marshall Production for BBC Radio 4.