Widowed by Ireland's Great Famine, Ellen Rua O'Malley flees her native land for Boston and the New World: with her are her two surviving children, Patrick and Mary, and the 'silent girl' whom Ellen has found wandering among the hordes of the dispossessed.
Boston in the 1850s is the hub of the universe: gateway to America's temples of commerce and learning; liberal, sophisticated - the very best place in all of the New World for a woman to be. There, awaiting Ellen, are the stability of a new life and Lavelle, the man who loves her.
But Ellen, desperate to shake off the Old World, is driven by her own demons to put everything at risk. And Boston, on the brink of Civil War, seems only to mirror her own conflict, to sound the knell of her own battle for survival.
(Preceeding text courtesy www.fireandwater.com)