From a fatal house fire in a working-class suburb of Melbourne during the 1970s, the reader is taken back forty years to the Ireland of the Great Depression where the story begins its journey across the world.
Its central theme is one of adoption ? love, loss, loyalty and above all, the complexities and strength of the human spirit.
When Dinny O'Flaherty is orphaned as a boy in a suburb of Melbourne during the 1930s, he is taken in by his next-door neighbour and her autistic son and raised to adulthood in their tiny timber cottage.
Less than a decade later in that same suburb, Ruby Collins falls pregnant to an American serviceman stationed there during the 2nd World War, and as she is young, unmarried and without any means of support, she is pressured into giving her baby up for adoption.
As the lives of these people become intertwined along with the myriad of characters that help to shape them, each and every one has a role to play along the road to the story's dramatic conclusion.