Having been treated for breast cancer aged forty, Ann attended her local college to study for A-levels in order to occupy her mind.
On receiving her exam results, her tutor arranged an appointment for her at the nearest university and she went on to study for a BA (Hons) in History with experience of writing, graduating at the age of forty-nine.
During research for her degree, Ann stumbled across a newspaper article from the 19th century which is the germ of her story. She survived a serious stroke aged sixty-two and was determined to write the story that had been evolving in her mind.
Leaving her loving family behind, seventeen-year-old Oonagh seeks to escape the potato famine in 19th century Ireland and make a better life for herself in England. However, life in the industrialised mill town of North West England was far removed from the emerald-green fields of her homeland.