Ellis O’Donovan, the son of Irish emigrants, Ann and Angus O’Donovan is called away from his bachelor life in post-civil war Baltimore. He returns home to rural Maryland to find his mother seriously ill from consumption. She implores him to take her back to Ireland to die and to be buried at Kilpara the estate once owned by O’Donovans for over three hundred years. After many quarrels Ellis gives in to his mother’s wish and arrives in Ireland to find Kilpara ruled by overlords, a fact that hasn’t changed since his parents left a generation ago. Lord Purcenell, and obstinate Englishman, denies Ellis’ mother her dying wish, which thrusts Ellis into the maelstrom between the strife-ridden Irish who want to see an O’Donovan reinstated at Kilpara, the English lord whose word is law, and Ellis’ growing attraction for his nemesis’ daughter.
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