In 1982, Nuala Malin struggles to stay connected, to her husband, to motherhood, to the smallness of her life in the belly of a place that is built on hate and stagnation. Her daughter Sam and baby son PJ keep her tethered to this life she doesn’t want. She finds unexpected refuge with a seventeen-year-old boy, but this relationship is only temporary, a sticking plaster on a festering wound.
It cannot last and when her chance to leave Northern Ireland comes, Nuala takes it. In 1994, Sam Malin plans escape. She longs for a life outside her dysfunctional family, far away from the North and all its troubles, free from her quiet brooding father Patsy, who never talks about her mother, Nuala; a woman Sam barely knew, who abandoned them twelve years ago.
She finds solace in music, drugs and her best friend Becca, but most of all in an illicit relationship with a jagged, magnetic older man. She is drawn to him, and he to her, in a way she can’t yet comprehend. Sam is more like her mother than she knows.