Lucy is a fourteen-year-old girl brought up in a fanatical religious sect that aims to take over the whole world under a deity called `the Magnifico'.
Children born into the sect are raised in communes headed by `Fathers'.
For some unknown reason, Lucy and another child, Paul, do not live in a commune, but are strictly raised by so-called `Aunt' Sarah in the ground-floor flat of the Father's private house.
He lives upstairs, and a mystery tenant lives on the second floor.
Lucy's experience of life is limited to the ground-floor flat, prayer meetings and the Magnifico's school, where children are educated with the aim of infiltrating influential positions in the outside world, working as skivvies or breeding future followers of the Holy Cause.
When she suffers humiliation at school assembly, her trust in the religion begins to collapse, and through two school friends she learns some of the secrets of the sect.
Her aim is to escape before she is sixteen, when she will either be compulsorily married to one of the Fathers in the name of the Magnifico, or disposed of as unsuitable to further the Holy Cause.
She does not know whom to trust and wants to formulate an escape plan, but the matter is taken out of her hands when the Father's enemies invade his house and she has no choice but to flee...