After his mother's death, Lally enjoys two years of contentment. All this comes to an end when Dada remarries and they move to a farm. Eight-year-old Lally is now one of nine children. Things aren't easy, Dada is often away and Mam seems distant, cold and harsh. This story about growing up reads like a biography and is in turns moving, funny and bleakly sad. Lally's relationship with his stepmother is a central theme. Surprisingly he becomes her favourite, though this mature understanding between them comes rather late in the day.