Something uncanny is happening in the ancient town of Glastonbury. Teenaged Faith Wills, who’s run away from home to have her baby, is suddenly taken in by Garnet Todd, the ex-midwife who seems to know all about her, even though they’ve just met. Nick Carlisle, who completed a degree in philosophy and theology only to end up clerking in a New Age bookshop, feels his life quicken with new purpose once he meets Faith. Anglican priest Winifred Catesby’s brother Andrew, her best friend since childhood, is acting unaccountably remote and cruel. Winnie’s friend Fiona Finn Allen has been painting images she doesn’t understand in an uneasy attempt to get them off her mind. And widowed architect Jack Montfort is the agent, or the victim, of a stream of automatic writing that’s evidently channeling 11th-century monk Edmund of Glastonbury. Jack’s cousin, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid of the Metropolitan Police, is visiting with his lover, newly promoted Inspector Gemma James, when the pervasive weirdness erupts in violence, leaving one victim in a coma and a second dead. Supernatural forces are invoked far too often and earnestly to be the mere red herring you might expect; but what role do they play in the very human drama unfolding around Glastonbury Tor, the peak Faith feels she must climb despite her delicate condition?
A perceptive study of the moments when the veil between this world and the next is thinnest—and quite a departure from Crombie’s usual work (Kissed a Sad Goodbye, 1999, etc.). The powerful magic she finds in Glastonbury isn’t for everyone.