Mary had always been a survivor from birth. She more less was from we would say a dysfunctional home. She was sent to America away from her real mom at the age of 5. Life in America was also a dysfunctional home life. Her American adopted family was better than what she would have had had she stayed in Ireland. However, Mary never really had a friend growing up though she always longed to fit in. She never knew her real father. This book is basically her story of her life (as she's now grown) she tells her deepest secrets to Sally, who has befriended her. This book I'm sure is for some one, but it really wasn't my cup of tea. I love anything to do with Ireland, Scotland, etc. thought it would be good but just not my style of reading. It has Catholic leanings. I'm sorry I can't say I was over thrilled with this book.
You may read more about this book and the first chapter here.
"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become." -C.S. Lewis