This is a book about the devastation that the act of "date rape" can bring to everyone involved, from the perspective of the older sister of the man accused. The author doesn't minimize or explain away the act, but does show that there were definately shades of gray in the incident, and that it can be as devastating for the man involved and his family as it is for the woman. The book covers much more that this one act, however, it is a coming of age story about the heroine, the sister of the accused, who was more a mother than sister to her much loved but difficult younger brother. It details her struggle to better herself, to form relationships, and learn to both help and "let go" of her younger brother. It has a true sense of place, and I felt like I learned much about Ireland. The people were unforgettable, and I had trouble both putting the book down and forgetting the story...thinking about it for many months afterwords, and at times forgetting it was only a book about imaginary people.