Tormey’s story could be the genesis of a top novel out of Russia, where love of a classic story runs deep in the history of that country. Growing up in Bashkortostan, between the Volga River and the Ural mountains, Larissa was unaware of a land way to the west where one day she would make her home.

Life changed for Larissa, the classically trained opera singer, one night when she was performing her own show with a group of dancers in an upmarket venue in Moscow, back in 2001. In the audience was a group of lads on a stag party out from the midlands of Ireland. Among them was Christy Tormey, from a well-known farming family in Kilbeggan.