Ned Halloran has lost both his parents, and almost his own life, to the sinking of the Titanic, and has lost his sister to America. Determined to keep what little he has, he returns to Ireland and enrolls at Saint Enda's school in Dublin. Saint Enda's headmaster is the renowned scholar and poet, Patrick Pearse - who is soon to gain greater and undying fame as a rebel and patriot. Ned becomes totally involved with the growing revolution...and the sacrifices it will demand. Meanwhile, in America, his sister feels her own urge toward freedom, both for her native Ireland and herself. Kathleen too becomes involved in the larger struggle, as America's role in the Irish fight for freedom escalates. The novel examines the Irish fight for freedom, which parallels in so many ways America's own bid for independence. For the first time, it gives us a look at the heroic women who were willing to fight and die beside their men for the sake of the future. Above all, 1916 is the story of the valiant patriots who, for a few unforgettable days, held out against the might of empire to realize an impossible dream.