It is 1936 and the children of Kinvara are growing up fast. Vaila Sutherland, a born romantic, vows she will never marry until she finds a love as deep as her father's for her mother. Two young men make a play for her heart - will she choose the right one? Andy Sutherland, Vaila's half brother, finds new doors opening despite the cerebral palsy that he has suffered since birth; while nine-year-old Essie, the joy of her mother's life, revels in a world of make-believe and wonder. Cruel Joshua Bowman continues his reign of terror but, as they grow up, his children find ways of thwarting his wishes. When Miriam, too, at last defies him, it has tragic consequences. Heartbreak and horror mingle with tears of joy and, as always, the villagers fight and laugh their way through this enchanting novel, adding many colourful contributions in their unique and inimitable way.