When her mother leaves the family home in Belfast for her lover, Louise McGuigan is left feeling betrayed. It is up to Louise to look after her brother and sister while her father loses himself to alcohol. Returning to work at the local linen factory, she has to endure the cruel gossip about her so-called righteous mother and when Conor O'Rourke, the man of her dreams, continues to drag his heels about their future together, Louise doesn't know how much more she can take.
1971. With the troubles in Belfast at their height, a happy domestic life is something that Tess Maguire yearns for. Yet the political and social unrest are sending ripples of uncertainty through every aspect of her life. Whilst her partnership with her friend Theresa Cunningham in a dressmaking firm is successful, it's beginning to affect her romantic interests. Theresa's boyfriend Bob always seems to be near Tess. Near enough, one night, to declare his true feelings for her....
"Caroline Lennon sold it for me."
Belfast, the 1960s. When Tess Maguire and her best friend Agnes Quinn get free tickets to see the Rolling Stones, there is nothing that will stop them from going to the Ulster Hall, not even the disapproval of Tess's mother Alice. And though Alice's concerns about trouble are to prove right, for Tess and Agnes they have a silver lining. As the concert ends in panic and confusion, the girls are helped out by their very own pair of Jumping Jack Flashes - Jack Thompson and Tony Burke.
To her neighbours in Belfast, Maura Brady looks like she has it all - an attractive husband, a comfortable home and a gorgeous little boy, Danny. But behind closed doors, things are far from idyllic. Maura has long harboured doubts that her husband Adam only married her because he was quickly trying to mend a broken heart. Years ago, Adam’s childhood sweetheart Evelyn suddenly left town to marry a rich, older man and left Adam shocked and shaken.
Life in 1920s Belfast is hard for the working class people, but the McGuigans are more fortunate than most. But when eldest son Johnnie shatters the family’s peaceful existence with a shocking and unwelcome revelation, opinions become divided. And there are secrets in other quarters, too, when Sister Louise discovers her boyfriend is hiding something - a secret so terrible it threatens their engagement.