1949: one year in the childhood of Candida Lycett Green in the remote village of Farnborough in Berkshire. Here she lives with her father John Betjeman and her mother Penelope Chetwode, in one of the bleakest and highest spots on the windswept downland.
Candida runs wild with the 'gang' of village children. Stimulated by regular excursions to the cinema in Wantage, Candida and her best friend June became fascinated by the idea of love. Their romantic imagination is fuelled by the beautiful Ruby Mason, who cleans the cottage of a reclusive scientist, Dr Fox, employed at the neighbouring Harwell Atomic Research Centre.
They stealthily engineer a romance between the two - until it is revealed that none of the children's special adult friends are what they seem, and the real world shockingly intervenes to overturn their innocence.