In 1946 rural Ireland, Brideen Conway has her heart set on Kieran McDermot, but one thing stands in the way of their union. The couple can’t afford to marry, and Kieran’s curmudgeonly father won’t pass down the family farm. Kieran faces the unpleasant possibility of leaving Brideen behind to find his fortune in England.
Meanwhile, wealthy pub owner Austin Glynn has more than enough money to offer a substantial dowry, if only someone would take an interest in his daughter Aideen. Kieran’s feckless older brother Martin volunteers to take Aideen’s hand, though the rest of the village suspects he’s interested more in Austin’s dowry than in his daughter.
When Martin disappears after his proposal and is believed to be dead, the parish priest Father Donovan sets in motion a plot to see Brideen and Kieran wed. After all, so what if the dowry might change hands a few more times than is entirely usual, as long as the couple can tie the knot?
In The Dowry, Walter Keady spins a winsome tale in the best traditions of Irish literature, applying a wealth of charm and graceful wit to this story of love, money, and marriage.