A family finds itself alone and isolated after a nuclear attack on their town in Maine. The mother becomes obsessed with the idea that it is part of a divine plan for them to form a new and just society based on her religious beliefs. This leads to conflict within the family and an unconventional relationship. Eventually, they learn of other survivors, and this leads to further emotional conflict within the family unit because of the mother's obsession and renewed acquaintance with a minister.
The story is fictional. However the mother and mininter are based on real people of the author's life experience. Their attitudes, actions and character are not unique in our present society.