The marriage of Sylvie and Gowry McCulloch was not made in heaven and has gone through difficult times. Settled now in Dublin, they have a daughter, Maeve, whom they both love dearly. Sylvie presides over the respectable Shamrock Hotel while Gowry is a driver for Flanagan's bus company.
When Francis Hagarty explodes into their lives, however, everything changes. Fran is a journalist and gunrunner and hides a shipment of smuggled arms in the Shamrock. Gowry discovers it and, sensing danger, is furious. But Sylvie has already fallen in love with Fran and is soon swept into an illicit affair. Trapped in a tangle of subversion that he has resisted all his life, Gowry is forced to flee Dublin and becomes caught up in the war in Europe.
As Gowry struggles to survive the horrors of trench warfare in France and Sylvie and precocious daughter Maeve are drawn into the Easter Uprising at home, the family's future hinges on heartbreaking choices, any one of which may lead to tragedy for all of them.