When Molly McBride realizes that she is terminally ill, she arranges for Ruby, Billy, and Pearl to be taken in at Ignatius House, the local orphanage. Ruby is a rebel at heart and often in trouble with the strict nuns. When she is sixteen, she is forced to marry, but vows to get back Billy and Pearl once she has made a settled home. Eventually, she is also forced to accept that her sister Pearl is a bad lot, and that Billy has found a new life in Canada, so can't hope to recreate the family in quite the way she once promised her mother.
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