It is the late 1940s in rural Ireland, and Kathleen Steele has been prematurely thrust into adulthood by the death of her twin sister, Nuala. Debilitated by grief, their mother has descended into a state of near-catatonia, and it is left to Kathleen to care for her younger siblings and her taciturn father. When a traumatized young man, Joseph Foley, mysteriously appears in the small farming community, a tentative love affair develops. But as Mrs. Steele’s illness deepens, Kathleen’s relationship with her father grows ever more disturbing. When Kathleen agrees to marry Joseph, her mother begins to regain her health. But by then it has become clear that the events of the intervening years will cast a dark shadow over the new generation. From a young novelist of great promise, this is a story about faith and fidelity, about the heart’s ability to break, and to heal.