- The prologue is like a little movie. Let's zip over a quaint Irish town "only a few miles from Dublin" (Prologue.2)—there are blue skies, green grass, houses, and trees.
- The little town is intended to be a suburban paradise.
- It doesn't pan out this way, though, and due to the poor economy there, the families languish more than they thrive.
- We watch three children climb over a wall and go into the woods, which is "all flicker and murmur and illusion" (Prologue.5).
- We're told they're "running into legend" (Prologue.7), and that "these children will not be coming of age" (Prologue.8), all of which sounds like very bad news.