Alice Moore is eight years old in 1915 when her parents leave her with her autocratic grandmother at Ballydavid, a beautiful old house in the south of Ireland. Often lonely and homesick, living in a rigid, old-fashioned household where more is said than is spoken, Alice is forced to piece together her world from overheard conversations, servants' gossip, and her own quiet observations.Alice comes to love Ireland and to consider Ballydavid her home. She also comes to understand that her family's privilege is maintained at a cost to others and is based on prejudice, exclusion, and injustice to those outside the small closed circle of the Anglo-Irish. Outside the circle, but important in Alice's life are a psychic countess down on her luck, a Catholic boy whom Alice hero-worships, an admired governess, as well as many of their neighbors.In the background always is the Great War. The sons of some of the local farm laborers serve in the English Army, but others, Irish Nationalists, are edging toward revolution. Sir Roger Casement, a revolutionary whose antecedents are not so different from Alice's, is actively working for the cause of Irish independence. In the aftermath of the rising, Casement is convicted of treason and hanged. Horrified by the lengths to which the English government will go to regain control over Ireland and divided in her loyalties and affections, Alice must finally choose between her heritage of privilege, her growing moral and political conscience, and the demands of the future.
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- Hardback | 352 pages
- 161 x 238.3 x 28.7mm | 598.75g
- 01 Sep 2003
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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