In this book, a father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. They sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing - just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food, and each other.