This is the Third Edition of Val Mulkerns' critically acclaimed novel, originally published in 1984 by the historical British publishing house, John Murray.
Every summer members of the O'Donoghue family return to the Irish garrison town of Ferrycarrig to the house where they all grew up.
It seems none of the family has quite escaped the meshes of their childhood. In that house academic excellence has always been taken for granted and there is no quarter for those who failed. Eleanor, the cleverest daughter, retains her status but despises her husband Con. Their daughter, Julia, retreats from parental rejection into a private world of her own.
Ruth, married to Martin, a favourite grandson, wonders why family members want to spend each summer at Ferrycarrig when past summers linger around the place like ghosts.
This brilliant portrait of a family is described by five of its members, each interlocked in a dependence that seems to transcend time. All those summers and four generations give a splendid evocation of family life.