A prequel to New Bridge to Lyndesfarne, this story is set partially in England in 1946, and partially in the world of Lyndesfarne. In Lyndesfarne, all but the simplest technology does not work, but a sophisticated society functions using pervasive magic. The story follows three young men - Alistair, Bram and Tom - who have become friends and comrades in the Army. After their return from Germany and demobilisation, the friends have no very clear idea of their future life. Neither Tom nor Alistair has close living relatives, and Bram seems unwilling to return to his family. They travel to northern England and find summer work on a farm not farm from the Island of Lyndesfarne.
"So what are you going to do with the rest of your life?" Bram asked his companions.
Alistair looked quietly contemplative, or perhaps just befuddled...