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It all began on the night of the Big Wind. A wild and savage night in January 1839 when a storm struck Ireland, leaving such suffering and devastation in its path that a mark remained on the minds and hearts of Irishmen, and the land itself, ever after. It was the night Sterrin O'Carroll, "blossom of the storm," was born in Kilsheelin Castle. Growing up during Ireland's darkest hours, Sterrin forms a bond with a household servant called Young Thomas that deepens over the years into a forbidden love—a love as fierce and relentless as the storm that ushered her into the world. But their paths are divided by devastating events that change the course of Ireland's history. After the bitterness and the sorrow finally wane, Sterrin's indomitable spirit never weakens because, Thomas, like her beloved land, will return to her.