A young woman, Marian, arrives to a closely-knit community on Clare island. She topples from her boat and is taken to the priests house to recover. She remains with the priest as his housekeeper and they become lovers. They conduct a rather open affair. The reactions from the community differ. Marian gets pregnant and the priest believes that the bishop and the locals will somehow accept this turn of events. Inevitably they do not, Marian is forced to leave the island and the priest is sent off to the foreign missions.