Spanning two decades, from the wild coast of a Tasmanian penal colony to the west coast of Ireland, an exiled rebel’s betrayal precedes his return to his homeland.
In mid-nineteenth-century Ireland, a small girl arrives on the same dock her mother departed from six years earlier. Laoise Hogan is alone, traumatized, and bearing letters from her mother addressed to the man who abandoned them. Sir Lucius O’Brien, 5th Baronet, 13th Baron Inchiquin, is summoned to Dublin by an orphan society. He finds himself face to face with a small girl whose haunted face looks eerily similar to his brother’s.
Phelan McCrohan and his cousin Pearl have enjoyed a simple and safe childhood on Inishean, nestled away from the harsh realities of mainland Ireland. Now grown, they must leave the protection of their island home to widen their social opportunities and further their education. As Phelan and his friend Jefferson finish school and seek employment, Phelan finds himself in service to Sir Lucius O’Brien. As he settles into his life in Co. Clare, the last thing he needs is to be distracted by the lovely and mysterious ward of the castle, Laoise O’Brien.
Centered around Dromoland Castle and the political turmoil of post-famine Ireland, four young people learn the value of friendship and the power of true love.