Hannie Bennet is a survivor of uncertain origins who has spent her life in Africa and the Far East. There aren't a lot of things she wouldn't do or hasn't done. By the time she meets Ned Renvyle however, her assets are running distinctly low and she needs a home for herself and her son. Ned Renvyle is an explorer, a writer, a returned Anglo-Irishman now become a farmer. He is also nearly twenty years older than Hannie and on the look out for a wife. A deal is done, and a marriage made against both their soberer judgments. For Ned the widower, this is a second marriage; for Hannie the experienced divorcee and now, by luck, a widow, this is a fifth. It seems a port in a storm, a chance worth taking, but Ned lives on a modest farm deep in West Waterford and the price she has to pay for his name and his home soon seem too high.
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