The Bird Woman : Ellen McKinnon, a fiercely independent Northern Irish Presbyterian, finds her marriage threatened by a shattering clairvoyant experience that damages her health both mentally and physically. Escape comes in the form of Liam, a sculptor from the South, whom she meets by chance when he visits Belfast. Ellen leaves her husband and goes to live with Liam in Southern Ireland, where she struggles to suppress her clairvoyance and create a normal life for herself and her family. This is not so easily achieved. Her Seeings mutate into a power to heal, and though she does her utmost to keep her gift a secret, rumors spread and she is soon sought out by the sick in search of comfort and cure. She finds unexpected support in the friendship of a feisty ex-nun called Catherine, but this in turn creates tensions with Liam and adds to her own turmoil. When her estranged mother's final illness forces her to revisit her native city, the homecoming proves momentous. Ellen has to face and assimilate an unwanted but unavoidable family secret and in so doing she experiences a revelation that turns her life around.