England. The Dark Ages. An elderly monk is ordered by his abbot to confess the terrible sin he committed as a child. But where to begin? One loose stitch unravels another. A lifetime has passed since he found himself standing alone, a little boy in the snow outside an early, primitive monastery sited at the edge of a dangerous, still-pagan world. He remembers the plagues he survived. He remembers the wars. He remembers the friends who survived neither. He remembers struggling to understand a world inhabited by monks, grave men who, for the most part, used their voices only to sing the holy office. He remembers his father – the Anglo-Saxon warrior who donated him to the monastery, abandoned him there and he remembers the lone time his father returned, the price he exacted of his son, the awful secret he has carried since his father. All his life he’s been surrounded by men called “Father,” but who is his real father? The distant stranger who came into his life that one time, abruptly, and just as abruptly left? Or the silent fathers in their dark robes chanting their endless devotion to another, even more distant, Father? The old monk returns, in memory, to the wild, forbidding mountain of Modra nect, and the rough hermit who long ago offered him a vision of sanctuary there. Perhaps the holy man gave him the answer, gave him the key. He writes to bring it back, to confront long-buried secrets, to retrieve the thread of his life.