A multigenerational tale about the passionate loves and losses of women in a family of firefighters traces their experiences spanning from famine-era Ireland to Brooklyn a decade after the September 11 attacks. Norah, the first member of her family to move from Ireland to New York, is a mother of three, contemplating her husband's casket as his men give him a full fireman's funeral, and faced with a terrible choice. Norah's mother-in-law, Delia, is stoic and self-preserving. Her early losses have made her keep her children close and her secrets closer. Eileen, Delia's daughter, adopted from Ireland and tough-as-nails, is desperate for a sense of belonging and is one of the first women firefighters in New York. As Delia experiences 9/11, the reader is blindsided by the events of that terrible day along with her.