Davie Armstrong watches as his master, Angus McBain, publicly thrashes young Molly Geary for refusing to name the man who had made her pregnant. And yet, only an hour later, Davie sees the two of them alone in the malthouse, and learns that the child is McBain's. In a whirl of disbelieving rage he overhears them plotting to let him, Davie, take the blame and marry Molly.
Meanwhile, the master's wife is also pregnant. And a few months later the birth of the McBain's son Amos unleashes violence and tragedy at the farm. Born with no legs and emotionally crippled, Amos will learn to wield power of frightening intensity over everyone around him . . .