After another poorly attended mass, Erik Angstrom, a young priest, is visited by Ellen Greene, the mother of Josh, a child who has been missing for five years. Josh's absence has pushed Ellen's marriage to the breaking point, and though her husband strenuously objects, she and the priest decide to hold a symbolic funeral to help the family move on. But when their decision becomes public, Josh inexplicably returns to the island, alive and well. Now sixteen years old, Josh appears unharmed but refuses to answer questions about where he has been. Erik proves to be the only one able to uncover Josh's secrets, but in doing so, causes more problems than he could have ever imagined, threatening his relationship to the family, the church, and the law.