War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace. ~Thomas Mann

For young Collin Cassidy, an Irish Catholic medical student, volunteering in 1914 did nothing to solve the way the world viewed him or, for that matter, how he saw himself.

In the fall of 1917, the fears Lieutenant Collin Cassidy dealt with, day in and day out, were unlike those his fellow officers found themselves facing.

Though he shared the same hazards they did, Cassidy was unique, for his greatest enemy was not the Germans on the far side of no man’s land or the wretched conditions his platoon endured during a tour in the trenches.

Rather it was an appreciation that he was at war with himself. For behind the carefully crafted façade the young Irish officer had crafted for himself was a soul out of sync with the physical presentation by which society judged him, a part of him he knew as Caitlin.

Bit by bit, the duel strain of war and the belief that he could never live up to the expectations of others becomes too much, leading to a collapse. At a psychiatric hospital established to treat “shell-shocked” officers, Cassidy befriends Shannon Keane, a nursing sister who manages to see him for who and what he is.

It is a friendship that proves invaluable, for when his return to duty in France proves to be short-lived due to the destruction of his battalion in the spring of 1918, Cassidy gives himself over to his true nature, deserting the Army and returning to Ireland where Shannon helps him fashion a new life for himself as Caitlin.