Kate Flowers has spent all her young life by the banks of the Grand Canal in Ballygrace. Her dreams of becoming a nurse and leaving the quiet countryside of her home have been put aside to concentrate instead on looking after Mary, her widowed mother, as well as keeping an eye on her volatile brother, Brendan, who works on the barges.
Then one day, Brendan introduces her to the handsome young boatman Michael O'Brien, and a new life of marriage and motherhood beckons.
Life for the whole Flowers family is about to change - but in ways they could never have imagined, as both joy and tragedy are close at hand. Kate, Mary and Brendan must learn to look again at themselves - and each other - and find love and strength in the most unexpected of places for their family to bloom.