In post-war Ballymara, two women are waiting for ambitious Michael Malone to return home. Rosie is the local schoolteacher and most people think she is promised to him. Just a few have guessed that he has secretly begun to woo Sarah, whose brutal fisherman father would kill her if he knew. Both Rosie and Sarah love Michael, both hope to become his wife and their lives will interweave in a tale of tangled secrets, old promises and new feuds. Michael Malone's choice will have fateful consequences for everyone - especially, in due course, for his young daughter.