At St Alcuin's Monastery, in 14th century Yorkshire, Abbot John is in shock after learning of the rape of his sister and murder of his mother. The refugee Father William is discovering his own vulnerability. As they support their leader and their barely-welcome guest, the community of brothers undertake the task of nurturing the grace of God in their souls. The Hour before Dawn explores the psychological impact of grief and trauma, and the possibility of healing. Wilcock deftly weaves themes of the resurrection and ascension throughout the story, exploring the process of having survived suffering, but not yet having moved on. Based on solid historical research, Wilcock's representation of monastic life is authentic, rich with poetic prose and a sense of time and place.