It's the end of the world in Mudcaster, and the Mother is beset by family troubles - Maureen's unborn babies have been stolen by demons in the night, and Robert has taken to playing with dead Uncle Norman. The Father is talking to his pot plants again, which wouldn't be so bad if the Mother hadn't heard them answering back. In dark times, the Mother knows that only by drawing the family together, the living and the dead, may they overcome the trials of Ending. Together they are strong; divided they are weak. Aunt Maude is easy to find; she was cremated just the year before. But others, like Cousin Hilderbrand, who had his brain confiscated by medical science - before he'd finished with it, some said - prove more difficult. The real ancients are little more than rumours their boxes. The family must dead with troublesome dead, demons and - worse still - the living, in order to save the day.