Teresa is from Kraków and married to Piotr Zarzycki. Her husband’s work as a journalist have her come to live in a small town in the in the so-called Recovered Territories or Western Borderlands, which are territories that used to be German but became part of Poland after World War II. When she cames into town in 1984 – after her husband is hired as by a local newspaper called “The Evening Courier” – she is pregnant and as the pregnancy is a difficult one, her doctor orders her to stay at home and avoid straining herself. During this time, Piotr puts himself in grave danger by investigating the death of a local community leader while at the same time having an affair with the dead man’s wife. This stresses Teresa so much that she ends up in hospital. After the investigation is closed and Piotr ends the affair, Teresa decides to give her marriage another chance and the couple leave the town.
Despite her promises to never come back, Teresa does just that when in 1997 Piotr is offered the job of “The Eveining Courier”‘s editor-in-chief, as the paper is in great financial difficulty and he is believed to be able to save it. The couple get a house at a newly built estate called “Oasis”. This time Teresa refuses to be a stay at home wife and gets a job as a counselor at a local primary school. This soon turns out to be much more difficult than she expected when one of the students is found drowned after a levee breaks during a flood. At the same time Teresa is struggling with her loveless marriage and soon begins an affair with a Sergeant in the local police Anna Jass.