From the author of the highly acclaimed `The Whitest Flower' and its sequel comes a new novel just as vast in scope and powerful storytelling as its predecessors. Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, the powerful new novel from the author of the acclaimed The Whitest Flower and The Element of Fire poignantly explores forgiveness, longing, and the changing role of women set free by war from the protection of their men. Ellen O'Malley, together with her natural daughter Mary and adopted daughter Louisa, helps tend the wounds of the soldiers who have fallen in battle. In the killing fields of Virginia she toils, not realising that her estranged son, Patrick, and Lavelle, the husband she desperately seeks, are on opposing sides of the terrible conflict. Meanwhile, Lavelle and Ellen's former lover, Stephen joyce, likewise seek her out - and each other - with tragic repercussions. The inspiring story of Ellen's race against the ravages of war is a tale of great loves, impossible choices and the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.