Born in Dublin, Niall Williams is the author of the best-selling Four Letters of Love and a playwright of some renown in his native Ireland. This, his second novel, is a novelisation based around the imagined old age of John the Apostle. Aged, blind and frail, John is over 100 years old when we first meet him, banished to the island of Patmos where his disciples await him.
There they wait for the end of the world but when it does not come, doubt and impatience fill their hearts and make them second guess their leader. Matthias is consumed by rage and bitterness and turns his back on his leader while the rest of the men disintegrate into petty fighting and arguments.
Eventually a sign comes and the remaining disciples embark on a life changing odyssey that will test their belief and faith in each other and in God.