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 for the worse. Fran is a journalist and gunrunner and hides a shipment of smuggled arms in the Shamrock. Gowry discovers them 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 become caught up in the war in Europe.