A story of ""lace curtain Irish"" set in mid continent, a story made up of the bits and pieces contributed by various people who want Bride to carry in her consciousness the whole pattern of what is her past, two generations American, but profoundly Irish none the less. There are the Joyces, chiefly, and the Fogartys largely through Christy, who loved his cousin Maggie; Democrats all, Catholics, ready for a good fight or a family squabble, resenting interlopers, clannish- even when they battled. The story from the coming of the first hardy immigrants up to the Second World War falls into place, bit by bit, as neighbor Staffy Brady contributes his generous slice of intimate knowledge of the families, from the marriage of Johnny Fogarty to one of the Carrolls, and of Timothy Joyce to the other. Birth and marriage and death; the blot of divorce, glossed over by the church- only to bring more trouble in its wake; Christy tells the bits he knew (to me the best of the book) -- as his abiding love for Maggie went on the shoals of her swift passion for another; the ambition of Marsh, and its ruthless path; Young Matt and the marriage that led to Washington- and to disaster. The lilt of the Irish tongue is in the telling, much poetry in its prose, and a vigorous bit of one phase of Irish-American life, in the living.