My mother was never easy in the world of houses. She was a tinker, a traveler girl who had married a wealthy man. Her name was Agatha Sheehy. I don't know her maiden name. There are silences all around my mother's story.
People stared at her when we walked on the old road to Dublin or in the nearby fields on our way into town. She was an anachronism, like a vagabond who'd walked off with a wealthy woman's traveling case.
A pretty, red-faced girl with long white-blond hair, she had about her a wild, unrefined grace, and a penchant for sequins and beads and things that glimmered. In the bright of morning, on her way...