LIVES APART is a tale of emigration from Ireland to America after the famine. Set in County Clare, Boston, San Francisco, and Nova Scotia it explores sibling relationships and how a disastrous action can reverberate through the lives of the extended family. It also looks at the experience of emigration, both for those who had the courage to venture across the Atlantic and those they left behind.
In 1877, young Johanna McNamara leaves her quiet life on the family farm in County Clare and emigrates to America to join her businessman brother Hugh. Full of hope, she is determined to make a success of her life. Tragedy strikes before she finds her feet, and she must put the care of others before her own needs.
Back in Ireland, farming life continues through the seasons, with her brother Art struggling to deal with his troubled son Declan. Sending him to the USA is an option that might help turn him into a man. Little does Johanna know what lies ahead with the arrival of a nephew, whose act of betrayal will blow her life apart.