Synopsis - The Nationalists.At its heart this novel is about a doomed love story between the two main protagonists - an Irish Times journalist, Tony McAnthony, and a Kerrywoman and member of Cumann na mBan, Angela OSullivan. Sparks fly when they meet in the GPO during the 1916 Rising. Their relationship doesnt get off to a good start as Tony is held twice by the British on suspicion of being a rebel.Another character who features highly is Father John Troy, the parish priest of the Pro-Cathedral, who personally intervenes to try and save the rebel leaders from being shot. At the start of the novel hes a pacifist, but as the story progresses, he becomes more revolutionary and outspoken in his ideas.A similar metamorphosis happens with Tony and he too becomes more revolutionary in his actions. This will create conflict with Angela later in the book.The novel spans the turbulent years in Irish history from 1916 to 1923. The first few chapters are therefore concerned with the Rising itself and its aftermath. Things have moved on by the middle of the book to Sinn Feins success in the 1918 elections, and to the War of Independence. It is during the Tan war that Tony leaves aside the pen of the journalist and takes up arms. In particular, he avenges the rape of one of Angelas friends. She has been subjected to a terrible rape by a Tan soldier. Following on from the Tan war, the latter stages of the book follow Tony as he dons the uniform of a Free State captain. Angela, on the other hand, is heavily embroiled with the Irregulars and at the end of the book she is killed in a firefight involving Tonys men and the forces of Liam Lynch in the Knockmealdown mountains. This will break Tonys heart, and he decides that following the Irish Civil War, to go into exile and sail to America. Father Troy is on the same ship, having antagonised the hierarchy too much, both in Dublin and in Rome.The novel attempts to relate the story of how a cultural revolution occurred in tandem with the military actions. A number of other characters, both factual and fictional, have lesser roles in the story, although I believe that they undergo a metamorphosis every bit as startling as the three main characters.The story is set in Dublin and Kerry mainly. Other characters whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events include Minnie, a Dublin tenement mother; the Hannafin family, an inner city family whose sons are involved in the events; Pairic OToole who eventually tires of the violence and makes a radical decision regarding his future; and the McFrys, an upper middle class couple heavily involved in the events of the day; Conor Sweeney, the editor of the Irish Times; and Angelas family in Kerry.