An unwanted pregnancy leads a bright young woman into a life she could never have imagined. Unique, sad and sometimes darkly humorous, A Grave Above Ground is a beggar's tale. It is about how easily life can change, escape from persecution as a refugee, and the beauty and limits experienced with the healing power of love and care. Its about reconciliation with loss and pain, as well as awakening and closure.
We are in Spain as we follow the life and thoughts of Mara, a Romanian beggar who sits day after day on the pavement outside a bank in Madrid. Little by little her past takes shape - her tragic past - as she reflects on the members of her family, the village of her childhood, the hardships of Ceausescu's Romania, and her relationships - one of which was her downfall. She takes the listener through her happy but troubled youth, her dysfunctional family, her loves and follies, an unwanted pregnancy, the sordid kidnapping of her baby by the Romanian authorities, and the fruitless search for the infant in the Bucharest orphanages. We experience her flight from Romania, abuse as a refugee and illegal immigrant, which throws her life into a sad, downward spiral and near psychological collapse.
After years of begging and loneliness, fate offers her a chance and rescues her through a flu epidemic, landing her comatose in the caring environment of a small Madrid hospital. After all this, can she find the strength to escape from the depths into which she has fallen? Mara's is a tale of sadness, of a woeful start to life and an ambiguous ending.