Former Assistant District Attorney Sarah Jensen arrives at the Gateway in the desert Southwest to receive a free second opinion about her mysterious illness. Instead, she learns that she is undergoing a process of transformation, initiated by an encounter that she had thought was a dream, but which was really an invitation to a new life of service. The member of the Community who invited her is unexpectedly absent, so James, the Community's librarian, becomes her substitute mentor. At Sara's request, James tells the story of his own initiation to introduce her to the group's practices and beliefs. What happened to James and to his fellow Circle-mates, Esri and Thaylia, alerts Sara to the possibilities and the dangers of this new life. But what significance do James's experiences have for Sara's future? After her formation in the Community Refuge, which path will she choose? In which direction does her road from the Community's archive lead?