During the First World War, ten-year-old Alice Moore is left in the care of her autocratic grandmother at Ballydavid, a lovely country house in County Waterford. Living in a rigid, old-fashioned household where propriety is all, Alice is forced to piece together her world-a world on the brink of revolution-from overheard conversations, servants' gossip, and her own keen observations. She soon realizes that her family's privilege comes at a great cost to others-among them a psychic countess down on her luck, a Roman Catholic boy whom Alice hero-worships, and an admired governess, as well as most of her neighbors. After the Easter Rising, when blood is spilled close to home and loyalties are divided, tensions within Ireland and Ballydavid mount. Alice is forced to choose between her heritage of privilege and her growing moral and political conscience.