Willie Doyle is not the genius everyone thinks he is. After he fails the primary certificate in 1952 and is denied access to any secondary school in Ireland, his annoyed mother abandons him at an exclusive boarding school in Dublin and forces the priests to adopt him.
Willie survives for six years, only because the academy is a bee-hive of midnight businesses managed by students. After Willie starts a lottery on predicting football results, he makes enough money to support himself. While suffering from persistent insomnia in a forty-bed dormitory, Willie explores the secret lives of the academy’s priests, the unusual sleep habits and behaviors of its students, and the possibility of ghosts who purportedly wander the halls, planning to scare students.
In this coming-of-age tale, a boy abandoned by his mother in a Dublin boarding school must learn to fend for himself while exploring the lives of the priests, students, and ghosts who surround him.