Charged with the hidden rhythms and resonances of a fading Gaelic way of life in the West of Ireland, Birdsall's debut novel is intimately told in the form of a journal. When John Davey inherits a remote, ramshackle Connemara cottage, he is the center of attention as the locals follow his efforts to transform it into an artists' retreat. But as he is drawn into the gossip, hearsay, and speculation of his neighbors' lives, he becomes part of a world where "thoughts have no pattern". Ultimately he discovers that nature is of more importance to him than the "blue charm" of evening sunsets and fishing. But in the background the shadows of an older Ireland linger, of "ghost villages" and tinker camps and the emotional undercurrents of an enclosed, threatened community. Birdsall nimbly catches a twilight society poised between a haunted past and an unsteady future.