Patrick and Jane Lamb were both born and grew up in Ireland, he in the North-East and she in the South-West, during a long period of famine and depression. Along with thousands of other young Irish people emigrating to developing countries in search of better life opportunities, and encouraged by publicity from the Catholic clergy of Queensland, they travelled to Australia, where they met.
There their prospects were affected by climatic extremes from dramatic flooding to severe droughts, which limited employment and made life very difficult. They moved on to New Zealand before the birth of their second surviving son in 1881, to find that world depression was taking effect there.
After running a new Catholic orphanage for orphaned and abandoned children in Nelson in New Zealandís South Island, they moved to Northland and into the hotel industry, eventually owning their own hotel, before moving onto land they had bought, when a home had been built in 1892.
As the land was covered in dense forest, their hard work continued, with their children taking part in establishing farmland, rearing animals and working elsewhere for wages.
The book is the story of the lives of Patrick, Jane and their children.