A Song Without End is set in a dismal neighborhood in Soviet
Russia shortly after the end of WW2 in Europe. There are still jobs, certainly, but they are almost all working on assembly lines in brutal conditions for state factories. Marketplaces almost never have the goods that are required, and the lines when they do have something are astronomical. Families crowd into small spaces, many people sleeping in the same room. Some families aren't even lucky enough to have their own room. But they do have each other.