Who is Jack Quinn?
The young man with a wild heart grieving for his dead mother. His father teaches him how to survive as a child laboring in the steel mill. He learns to fist-fight and drink hard, growing up to become a whiskey-loving Irish charmer. Angry at God and forsaking his religion, he is excited by the nightlife of brothels and bars.
Or he is the man with a contrite heart, filled with remorse. A hard-working husband and father tortured by guilt, seeking redemption, attempting to live his dream with strong and forgiving Emma.
Or Jack is the discontented man with the cheating heart. The adulterer who rekindles romance and hides secrets with his first love, the long-suffering Clare.
The saga follows several families in Pittsburgh from 1890 through 1930, and how their lives become intertwined. The family members are affected by the social ills of the Industrial Age from alcoholism to child labor and mental health issues. Jack, Emma, and Clare face personal tragedies, moral and religious dilemmas involving choices and secrets. Their lives are influenced by the Great War, Prohibition, women's rights issues, and the prosperous and tumultuous years of the 1920's.
This novel examines family relationships that exist between fathers and sons, siblings, mothers and daughters, marital partners, and lovers. Choices made and secrets kept can have long lasting effects on children and future generations.