An Irish story of the years 1916-1920 and a portrait of a disappearing way of life and the beginnings of a new and different way. West Ireland the setting -- the Brendan family the focus, as they and their village experience the early uprisings of the Sina Fein, the Royal Irish Constabulary and the mounting tension of internal dissension. Brendan, a secret drinker, is the paragon of the district, with his successful hotel, his intricate financial dealings. Both, his wife, is distributed for her English associations; his father-in-law, John Emmet, an acknowledged tipplen is top old man of Tirawley. egeen, when the story opens, senses her father's insecurity, and her mother's fear, as he drinks increasingly and denies it. Overreaching himself in business, Brendan finds his debts keeping pace with his drinking, and the secret is out. The widening circle of fear and unbalance break up the home and business, and Brendan's brothers and sisters intensify Beth's unhappiness with their greed. She attempts to escape it by taking the children to America -- and eventually gets away. Ireland's own troubles are symbolized in Pegeon's growing up in the midst of family and political unrest. An evocative story, with many holding moments and characters.