Pilfering food for her sickly máthair, Aisling O’Quinn wanders amidst the filth-ridden cobbled streets of Five Points, Manhattan. A matron of the Children’s Aid Society catches her and considers it her civic duty to force the twelve-year-old onto an orphan train to a “better life”. Though Five Points is a notorious slum, with its rag-picker alleys and bandit haunts, she desperately misses the one-room tenement at the bend on Mulberry Street that overflowed with love and laughter.
On the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg, as Northern and Southern military troops are gathering, Aisling O’Quinn musters the courage to escape the dreadful farm where she lives. Not even the fear of capture as a runaway fades her intense longing to reunite with her beloved máthair.
Can Aisling overcome the influence of her disastrous past? Is she strong enough to take control of the drastic changes and unfortunate circumstances she is about to face? Will her unresolved memories cripple her?