"Set against the backdrop of the Great Famine, this is the story of the triumph of one woman amidst Ireland's despair. It is August 1845. In Dublin's Botanic Gardens, Phytophora infestans is discovered for the first time. The bacteria was to result in the Great Famine, an event of holocaust proportions that affected every man, woman and child in Ireland. England's shame; Ireland's tragedy . Ellen O'Malley is one such victim. She loses her husband, is duped into going to Australia to lead a better life, leaving three of her beloved children behind. She travels aboard a coffin ship and arrives emaciated and ill with her new baby. But Ellen, a woman with an indomitable spirit, rises above her oppression and eventually returns to wreak revenge on those perpetrators of her misery."