Mr. Prendergast, an elderly Anglo-Irishman, is living out his last years in the decaying splendour of his family mansion. As his mind wanders through the gloom he finds it peopled with memories of his neglected wife, his pale shadow of a father, his icily glamorous mother and Alexander, the son she so jealously loved, killed in the First World War. With only his ill-tempered alcoholic gardener left to attend to him, Mr. Prendergast is content to pass his days in such ghostly company. Until young Diarmid arrives, keen-eyed and carrot-haired, to disperse the gathering darkness with curiosity, and the promise of friendship.
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