Set in the west of Ireland, this is the story of a love and its sundering. The novel opens at a moment of crisis in the life of playwright Jack Ferris, when misunderstandings, alcohol, and despair have driven away his lover, Catherine. In an attempt to come to terms with his loss, Jack determines to recreate Catherine in his imagination. But the story he must tell acknowledges that the imagination is not a safe place. Very soon two worlds come vividly to life: one Presbyterian, the other Catholic; both rooted in opposites, yet each fascinated by the other. The cast includes families on both sides of the religious divide as the epic narrative roams heartbreakingly across the elememtal Irish landscape and history.