November 1979, the height of Northern Ireland's Troubles. Kathleen Moran's son Sean has just been transferred to the hypersecure H-block in Belfast's notorious Maze prison, where he soon emerges as a young but important force in the extreme protest, known as the Blanket, that political prisoners are staging there. John Dunn is also newly arrived at the prison, having taken on the job of guard--a brutal but effective way to support a house and a girlfriend, the domestic dream. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, no one's dreams go untroubled. As rumors of a hunger strike begin to circulate, Louise Dean's pitch-perfect novel places two parents, two sons, and two enemies on a collision course that ends in a surprising and deeply resonant climax.