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Connie is the youngest member of a large Irish family, and Ireland's too small to contain her. She is beautiful and impulsive, and she roars through life, never looking before she leaps. Nina is English and middleclass, the shy, thoughtful, daughter of an army officer. She marries her boyhood love and has two children before realizing how unfulfilled she is, and that painting is her true passion. Fay is American and Jewish, the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. She's the ambitious one, who fulfils her dream of becoming a doctor before admitting a darker, more complex side to her nature. Three women, born at the outbreak of World War II, who've grown up in widely differing circumstances, form an improbable friendship that sustains them throughÂ 40 years of love, marriage, children, work, divorce, and tragedy, against the backdrop of a society undergoing dramatic change at every level.