Widowed by Ireland's Great Famine, Ellen O'Malley flees her native land for Boston. With her are her two surviving children and the "silent girl" whom Ellen has found wandering among the hordes of the dispossessed. In Boston awaits the man who loves her and the hope and stability which she craves.
The sequel to the highly-acclaimed The Whitest Flower. Boston in the 1850s is the hub of the universe: gateway to America's temples of commerce and learning; liberal, sophisticated - the very best place in all of the New World for a woman to be. There, awaiting Ellen, are the stability of a new life and Lavelle, the man who loves her. But Ellen, desperate to shake off the Old World, is driven by her own demons to put everything at risk. And Boston, on the brink of Civil War, seems only to mirror her own conflict, to sound the knell of her own battle for survival. A powerful and compelling tale of lives and loves dislocated, The Element of Fire captures emotions as timeless as life. And love.