Part biography, part fiction, this book tells of the life of an Irish poet, Padraic Fallon, his family and the people about them during a summer in the 1950s. The poet, his wife and their six sons live an independent and largely secluded life in an old house in the South East. There the poet works on his poems and radio verse plays and oversees the farm and the projects to renovate the house. His wife is the great provider and mother. The six boys create their own excitement, boating, fishing, camping and acting as unpaid labour on the house and farm.