Deirdre O'Breen is fourteen when she flees the primitive Great Blasket Island, leaving a stunning family secret in her wake before she arrives on the mainland. There, she finds a foreign, civilized world -- and Manus, the architect son of a wealthy, devout family. Together Deirdre and Manus build a marriage that, like Dublin itself, is fraught with hope and threatened by legacies. When Deirdre's secret resurfaces, she is forced to confront the questions How much of our parents do we carry? Do their sins and frailties shape who we become to our own children?