I can remember a time when shops would sometimes have a sign saying ÔNo Gypsies and No Irish.' Well thank goodness times have changed and to be Irish is now a source of pride. Not sure if the gypsies have been accepted yet! However in this sweeping historical novel, Nora Kelly escapes a brutal and abusive lover by leaving her home in Chicago to escape to Europe. World War I and the Irish rising interfere with her new life in this tale of passion and revolution.
It's 1903. Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to the Old World her family had fled. Nora takes on Paris, mixing with couturiers, artists, and "les femmes Americaines" of the Left Bank such as Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach. But when she stumbles into the centuries-old College des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland's revolutionary women challenge Nora to honour her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland. Author Mary Pat Kelly weaves historical characters such as Maud Gonne, William Butler Yeats, Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins, and Eamon de Valera, as well as Gabrielle Chanel, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Nora Barnicle, into a vivid and compelling story inspired by the life of her great-aunt.