The Tottenham family is falling apart. There is no money to maintain the crumbling house and farm in County Westmeath, so decisions have to be made. Brothers Nick and Tony, with no prospect of a future in rural Ireland, make the long journey to their uncle's ranch in Australia. As World War Two looms, the entire family signs up to fight: mathematician mother Eleanor calculates flight paths; sister Rose repairs radar masts in Lincolnshire; Nick and Tony, like thousands of others, enlist in Australia; even their ageing father Gerald signs up for duty in the Far East. Little do each foresee what terror, starvation and heartache lay ahead, and what it would take to survive.
In a gripping narrative that spans four generations and encompasses the battlefields of Syria and Egypt, the Australian outback, night sorties over Germany, English airfields and the horrors of a Sumatran prison camp, this is a harrowing story of hardship and heroism, based on an Irish family's experience.