Visiting the island of her ancestors for the very first time, American midwife Brigid seeks sanctuary. It may now be the mid-20thcentury but progress in the remote Irish community seems to have stalled somewhere around a hundred years earlier; there’s no electricity, phones, shops or amenities on this unforgiving little island. The stalwart remaining residents of St Brigids are dwindling in numbers and have been resolutely advised by mainland authorities that the end is near. The entire population of St Brigids to be relocated.
Brigid has arrived with a personal agenda in mind but she must be patient. It will take awhile before the islanders will give up the location of their most prized secret – St Brigids Well. Widowed Brigid is desperate for a baby and the healing waters of the well she hopes will help her overcome what she regards as the unacceptable reality of her infertility.
Rose and Emer are two sisters who married two brothers and have lived on the island their lives. Their personas have been shaped by the harsh environments yet their spiritual lives cannot be disentangled by the everyday drudgery of child raising and back breaking domestic work. Emer has always known that her little family is on borrowed time and that the good people, the fairy folk, intend to steal her only child, the other-wordly Niall. Having herself survived a childhood abduction attempt, moody Emer now lives cagily with her secret ability to lay on hands. Emer has long been desperate to find another like her to share the burden and now she has been found.