John Kenton, a young man caught between limiting parental guidance and an imagination fired by hidden meaning, is killed one evening by a lorry as he cycles home from school along the icy roads of his West Yorkshire village.
Death provides a choice to go with a catcher to his next stage in life in the afterworld or remain ‘between worlds’, closer to his home and his reality. This is a world of denial and conflict, populated by those fearing judgement of their lives on Earth, the Leaves. Before going with the catcher, an ancient link forges a connection between him and one such Leaf, Simon, kindling a quest that he must somehow free him from his own misjudgement.
Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he learns how the afterworld is structured and organised and meets others like him. This reunites him with his partner, who like him is descended from an apparently extinct and mythical bloodline. She awakens him to their love and journeys together, spanning almost five hundred years.
Past life times and true identity revealed, he and his friends are brought into conflict with the Leaves who hold Simon and torment his family still living on Earth.