An ambitious and compelling first novel about a key moment in Irish history. November 1917. With tensions in Ireland, war in Europe and revolution in Russia, the return of leftwing Easter Rising gunman Victor Lennon to his home village after a long exile stirs up excitement and trepidation. A hero to many but a danger to some, his socialist ideas unsettle the fearsome parish priest, Stanislaus Benedict. Soon Victor and Stanislaus are on a collision course, with the very souls of the people caught between religion and socialism. McCann expertly tells his story from the perspectives of, and in the context of conflict between, these two titanic opposing forces; a conflict emblematic not only of a recurring trope in Irish history but of one more eternal and universal: between hope and experience; between ideals and human weakness.