This is the first book of the trilogy on Gracelin O’Malley saga.
The historical background covers the Great Famine of 1845 in Ireland. The plot tells the story of Gracelin and her family. When she was 16-years old, she marries an English landlord, Bram Donnelly and then her life is in constant turmoil due to the violent character of her husband.
In the meantime, her brother Sean and her childhood friend Morgan McDonagh became part of Young Irish rebels trying to save Ireland from British dependency. As consequence, the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848 (also called Famine Rebellion) took place later on but it’s not described in this book. Some of the leaders of the Easter Rebellion of 1916 had families affected by this famine, James Connolly among them. This latest rebellion is very well described in the book 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn.
“You have robbed us of our land and our right to live here with dignity. You have worked us as slaves, starved us to death, and left us to cope with terrible sickness. This is what we have come to under British rule.”…”Ireland has provided you with an endless cradle of our best young men to be fodder to your enemy’s cannons. We fight against you now, because we have little left to lose.”