The educated, well-travelled John Xavier travels from his continental base to set up a European business centre in Dublin for his employers in the late 1990s. He brings over 100s of young foreign workers with a vision to create the best working conditions possible.
Sorcha Cassidy is a new hire to the HR department, having left her low-paid charity job in town, attracted by the possibilities. She joins careerists looking for a bright future and moves out to the developing suburbs. Sorcha starts to become distanced from the life she knew before as she becomes immersed in the new culture.
Courtney, an American with connections to the company, has arrived to set up home with her Irish husband and they rent an apartment in the area. Sorcha's neighbours are a Polish and French couple hoping to have a family life in the new country. There are also countless Europeans and Irish locals taking their chance on a bright future.
The initial start up bonhomie is short-lived as the parent company announces financial trouble and major cutbacks. The management team slowly fractures and Sorcha's already busy schedule is increased. The combination of work and lack of a personal life hits her hard.
Her family history and a concern about making her life work obliges her to do an 'about turn' and reconsider her situation. Religion does not provide any answers and she finds herself attracted to the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement. A trip to the US shows large divisions between rich and poor. She realises that she has little choice but to stay within the system for the time being while consciously working on a plan of her own to create her own ideal existence.
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