Girl Becomes an Orphan After Her Parents Decide To Leave Her Because They Can’t Afford Her. 


In 1981, a nine-year-old girl named Kate is facing relentless bullying at school. They’ve taken to calling her the quiet girl, because Kate struggles with a speech impediment. 


One day, there are voices that can be heard calling out to her. The camera pans down to the field, where Kate seen lying and hidden in plain view. She gets up and starts walking back while the sound of cows and other farm animals can be heard. 


As soon as Kate enters the house, she hears a baby’s cry and goes straight to her room, and stands staring at the wetted mattress. When she hears a door slam, she immediately hides under the bed, just as her mom’s feet stands next to her, telling her that her shoes have muck in them. 


Later, their mother Mary is busy doing the laundry, while Kate and her three other sisters sit at the table. They were talking about how the calf will be born the same week as the baby. Kate only listens, just as they start to argue about one of their classmates, Fiona. 


A moment later, their father Dan walks in on them, instantly quieting the girls. But as soon as he goes to the other room, Kate’s sisters continue to bicker over Fiona in hushed tones while their father smokes a cigarette. 


A moment later, they hear the bus horn and Kate’s siblings scramble to get up, but not before checking their lunch boxes. Upon seeing that it is empty, they tell their dad that their mom didn’t make any lunches. Dan answers that they should just pick up bread, leaving the girls grumbling while Kate keeps quiet. 


At school, Kate struggles a lot and is a slow reader in contrast to her seatmate Sabrina, who can read well. Come lunchtime, most of the children play outside, but Kate remains inside with a few others. Because she has no food, she is eyeing the thermos on her seatmate’s table. 


When no one is looking, she takes it and pours herself a cup. However, two of her classmates runs by her table, spilling the milk on her. Kate goes to the washroom to clean it, but on her way back, a group of girls see her soiled clothes, making Kate run off into the open field. 


Later, her dad picks her up, and the two share a quiet ride home. Dan stops by a small pub to get a quick drink, while Kate sits on the couch waiting for him; once he is done, they set off again. 


Now that they are back on the road, they are quiet again, but not until they pass by a woman in a yellow dress. Her dad pulls over a little way ahead of her, and the woman goes straight into the passenger seat. 


Kate’s father opens the radio to drown out their conversation, and Kate remains quiet on the back, fiddling her fingers. 


At night, Kate wakes up to use the bathroom, and when she is about to return to bed, she hears her parents talking. Her mom is trying to talk to her dad, asking him, how long her cousin Evelyn can keep Kate. 


Her mom asks if it is okay for Kate to return after the baby is born, and her dad says that they can take Kate as long as they like, annoying her mom. 


Shortly after, he just tells her that she can say what she wants to say, because that’s what she always did. He immediately stands up and heads straight to their bedroom, slamming the door shut.  


The next day, Kate chances upon the mailman who hands her a letter. When she gets home, she tells her mother that she has a letter. Her mother sniffles before telling Kate that she should just put it on the table. After Mary composed herself, she sits at the table and begins reading the letter with a grim expression on her face. 


After a while, Kate is outside, wearing a dress, and waiting while her dad fetches a suitcase and stores it in the trunk of the car. Her mother calls out to her siblings, telling them that Kate is leaving, but her dad is impatient, and tells them they are leaving now. 


Kate sits alone in the backseat while her dad drives silently, until he opens the radio. After dialing it a bit, he turns to her and tells her Waterford. Kate asks if that’s where they are going, but her dad doesn’t answer straight, focusing only on driving and listening to the radio. 


Kate falls asleep and wakes up to the feeling of sunshine on her face. As she turns to see where they are, she sees lush greenery. She asks where they are, but her dad keeps quiet. 


Soon, they see a huge mansion that belongs to the Cinnsealachs, her mom’s cousin and her husband. Kate’s dad parks the car, and walks straight to Simon, the husband of her mom’s cousin. Kate remains in the backseat, looking over them, so she is surprised when the door opens on her side. 


It is her mom’s older cousin, Evelyn, greeting her with a smile. She asks Kate to stand so she can look at her. They talk a little before Evelyn smiles at her again, flipping Kate’s hair back as she ushers her inside. 


They head to the kitchen just as Evelyn asks about Kate’s mom. The girl answers that her mother won the Prize Bonds, and they had jelly. Evelyn then asks if Kate’s mother is busy, and the girl answers that her mother is waiting for the men to come and cut the hay. 


This makes Evelyn frown, and tells Kate that they are late in cutting the hay. The little girl suddenly asks if there are any children in the house. Evelyn smiles and says that only she and Simon live in the house. 


A moment later, the two men enter the kitchen. Dan greets the woman and settles down, while Simon and Evelyn set the table up. 


Dan makes a lot of small talk when Evelyn turns to her husband, asking him if he is not going to greet their guests. Simon just replies that Kate is by herself, making Evelyn comment that herself has a name. 


Meanwhile, Dan begins a new topic about this year’s hay, after which Evelyn asks how far along Mary is. Dan says that she is almost ready to give birth, before Evelyn asks again if she is having a hard time. 


Kate‘s father tells them that the trouble comes with feeding, then adds that a child’s appetite is like no other before nodding to the girl. Evelyn just tells him that she’s a growing child, and Dan responds by saying they can make Kate work if they feed her. 


This time, it is Simon who answers him, saying Kate doesn’t need to work, His wife wraps it up by saying they will gladly take Kate, since she is more than welcome. Dan tries to warn them by saying his daughter may eat them out of their home. There is a moment’s silence, before Kate tells them that she needs to pee. 


A little while later, they finish their meal, with Dan telling them that he’ll be heading out. Simon asks why he is in a hurry, and Dan says that it’s a long drive back. 


Evelyn stands up just then, telling them that she’ll be back as silence falls over the table again. When she returns, she gives Dan an armful of rhubarb, asking him to give it to Mary, but Kate’s father just takes it carelessly. 


Once outside, Dan dumps the rhubarb on the back seat and immediately starts the car. Kate’s father tells her to be good, and not to fall into the fire before driving off. The girl stares at where his father’s car used to be, just as Evelyn asks if she is all right. The little girl don’t answer, and Evelyn realizes that Kate’s suitcase is still in the car. 


They go inside the house, and Evelyn immediately prepares a bath for the girl. At first, Kate is hesitant to get in because of how hot it is, but Evelyn looks at her fondly, saying she will get used to it. 


As soon as the girl settles in, Evelyn starts to clean her up. When they finish, she asks if it is okay for Kate to wear some of their old things for now, and Kate accepts. Evelyn takes a plaid shirt and pants from the closet and starts dressing the little girl. 


Kate tells Evelyn that her mother instructs her to change her pants daily, while Evelyn asks if there is something else Mary said. In reply, Kate also tells her that Evelyn can keep her as long as she likes. 


Evelyn then asks Kate if she wants to come down with her to see the well. The girl hesitates, asking if they should go now, prompting Evelyn to ask if now is not a good time. 


Kate answers by asking if she is supposed to keep this a secret, but Evelyn tells her that no secrets are allowed in the house. She adds that if there are secrets in a house, then there is also shame in it. 


Before they go down, Evelyn cups her face and tells her that she is too young to understand. They go down and head to the well, hand in hand. 


When they reach it, Evelyn tells Kate to take a good look at it, admiring the well before handing her a ladle, and instructing her to drink from it. 


Later that night, Evelyn asks Kate if she wants to bring some milk as she heads upstairs, but the girl says her mom didn’t allow her to do that. Evelyn just go with her mom’s wishes, before telling her husband that Kate is about to go to sleep. With his eyes still glued to the TV, Simon wishes her a good night. 


As Evelyn tucks her in, she asks Kate if she is okay. The girl answers yes, so Evelyn asks this time if her mother is okay. Kate asks what she means by that, so Evelyn asks again, and this time, the girl tells her that her mother has been throwing up a lot, but not so much lately. 


Shortly after, Evelyn asks why is the hay not cut, and Kate tells her that her mother doesn’t have any money for the men to cut it. With a worried look, Evelyn wonders aloud if her mother will be offended if she wires money to her. 


Kate says she wouldn’t, but her dad will be angry instead. This doesn’t ease any of her worries, but she still bids Kate a good night. 


Much later, Kate wakes up because she needs to pee. She decides to do it in the chamber pot under her bed. But when she hears footsteps, she decides to jump back to bed, pretending to be asleep. She heard Evelyn say how pitiful she was, and if she was her mother, she would not allow Kate to sleep in a stranger’s home. 


The next morning, Kate is already awake, staring at the window when Evelyn comes in to fix her bed. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the girl wetted the bed, but instead of getting mad at Kate, Evelyn don’t scold her. 


During breakfast, Evelyn suggests to Simon if he wants to bring Kate to work today, so she can see the farm, but Simon reasons that the work today will be hard. 


However, he tells her that maybe she can see it next time before leaving the table. Since the two are left by themselves, they spend the time doing chores, with Evelyn teaching her how to chop vegetables and clean the house while also caring for her. 


This goes on for days, the two getting closer until one day, Kate doesn’t wet the bed anymore. Evelyn looks at her proudly, saying she only needs a little minding after all. 


One morning, the three are having breakfast when they receive a call, and Evelyn says she is needed to help a friend of theirs, Sofia. This means Kate will be under Simon’s care for the day. 


Kate keeps asking questions about why Evelyn has to leave, and Simon answers that it is their friend’s daughter who need help. Simon quickly got to work at the farm, when he notices a little later that Kate is nowhere to be seen. He starts searching for her until he finds her in one of the sheds. 


Simon tells her that she can’t just disappear like that, unconsciously raising his voice, which scares Kate, making her run away. That night, as he bids her the usual good night, Simon can’t help but feel guilty about how he acted toward her. 


The following day, just before work, Simon leaves her a piece of macaron on the table as he walks past her. He resumes his work on the farm, scrubbing the floors, when a while later, Kate joins him. 


One day, Simon asks the girl to check if there are any letters in the mailbox, making her run there since she has long legs. At first, she is hesitant to do it until he convinces her, saying he will time how fast she sprints which becomes their thing. 


Then comes a time when Kate and Evelyn are making red gooseberry jam. Simon walks in and tells his wife that she needs to stop what she is doing, and that he will not have the girl come to mass wearing those clothes. 


Evelyn tries to say that the girl is neat and presentable, but Simon is already decided and orders her to wash up and change. 


Meanwhile, he tells Kate that she should at least wash her hands and face, before she goes to town. As they reach the town, Simon gives Kate a pound so she can buy Choc ice for herself, while his wife chastises him, saying Kate can buy a lot with the money he gave. 


Simon asks his wife what the point of bringing the girl here was if they can’t even spoil her, earning a smile from Evelyn. 


They go to the store, and the saleswoman has Kate try a yellow dress, which pleases Evelyn as well, right before she is urged to try another blue one. 


After finishing their shopping, they come straight home to see Sofia waiting by their house. She tells them that her father has passed. Simon is the first to leave to help her house, while Evelyn informs and asks Kate if she has ever been to a funeral. 


When she answers that she hadn’t yet, Evelyn explains it to her, so that she won’t be afraid. Later, the two go to Sofia’s house to pay respect to her father. 


At first, Kate thinks that Sofia’s dad is praying, seeing the rosary wrapped in his hands, so Evelyn tells her to say a prayer for him as well. Later on, Kate finds herself sitting alone and bored. Seeing the girl like that, one of the neighbors offers to babysit Kate while the couple stays behind to help out. 


This lady turns out to be just nosy, asking Kate all kinds of questions. She asks the girl if Evelyn uses butter or margarine, where the dog sleeps, and if their fridge is always stocked until she asks where the girl is sleeping. 


From there, the woman reveals that the room Kate is staying in once belonged to the couple’s late son. The boy passed away in an accident at the slurry pit which makes Kate uncomfortable. 


When they reach the lady’s house, Simon comes knocking a minute later to take Kate home. Once inside the car, they ask her if something is wrong, seeing how Kate is acting. 


It takes a while before Kate tells them that the woman told her about the couple’s late son. Once they get home, Evelyn go straight to their room, while Simon fetches Kate a coat and tells her that they are going out. 


Simon brings her to a hidden shore and sits with her for a while. He begins talking about horses at sea before apologizing on behalf of his wife. He tells her that Evelyn didn’t mean any harm with how she acted. 


By the end of their talk, the two have gotten much closer than before, especially Simon, who starts treating her like the daughter he never had. 


One fine morning, Simon asks the girl to go and fetch the mail again. When she comes back with the letters, he finds one from Mary addressed to Evelyn. They go back, and Evelyn reads aloud that Kate’s mother wants her back, since she has now given birth and school is about to start. 


The next day, Simon leaves to help a friend birth to a calf. But before he goes, he asks Evelyn if she can finish up for him on the farm. Evelyn urges him to go while she goes to the farm and tells the girl to stay put. 


However, Kate remembers that there is no more water, so she decides to head to the well to fetch some when she accidentally falls. Fortunately for her, she only catches a cold. Once she recovers a little, the three head back to Kate’s house where she is welcomed with general indifference. 


They sit for a little while, and converse with Mary while having tea, until the baby starts crying. Mary comes back carrying the baby when Simon asks where Dan is. Then Dan arrives.  


Dan fills the room with tension, and they have a strained conversation. A little while later, Simon decides that it is time for them to go and Dan tells off Kate for sneezing. 


The couple go outside and give provisions to Mary. She tells her cousin that everything is fine, while Simon hands her the crate of jams last before turning to Kate and bidding her goodbye. 


As their car drives away, Kate runs after them. Just before Simon can close the gate, he sees her running and hugs her while Evelyn sits crying in the car. 


Kate opens her eyes and sees her dad marching angrily toward them.  


She softly mutters the word Daddy while hugging Simon tightly, and she repeats it with an even gentler tone, and it is the first time Kate says Daddy. 

The Quiet Girl.

The Quiet Girl | May 13, 2022 (Ireland) Summary: Rural Ireland 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there a... Read all
Countries: IrelandLanguages: Irish Gaelic, English
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