In late eighteenth, early nineteenth century Ireland, when the country is divided between the Anglo-Irish landlords and their impoverished peasantry, Catholic cotter’s sons like Michael Malone grow up understanding that their fathers must accept the injustices of the big lords. Then one day the injustice is too great, and Michael joins the United Irishmen rebillion. A disastrous campaign leaves him wounded on the Welsh coast, where he is hidden and nursed by a young, ardent woman and her religious-fanatic brother and where, as he dreams of return, he experiences the shifting lures of love and political idealism.

critical acclaim

“A vigorously told tale of betrayal and loss, Gowdy’s first novel captures the authentic viewpoint of disenfranchised Irish peasants. A complex and absorbing narrative.”
Publishers Weekly

“Evoking the terror of Kosinksi’s The Painted Bird, Gowdy’s images burn into the reader’s brain. The novel is vivid, unforgettable. Gowdy is a writer to watch.”

“An imaginative submergence into nineteenth-century Irish life, its tragedies and small satisfactions.”

“An engrossing tale of hardship, endurance and rebellion.”
University of Toronto Review