Candy Christian is an innocent young girl when she first hears NcPhito, an alcoholic Welsh poet, talk of love and self-sacrifice. Candy narrowly escapes McPhisto's attempt to rape her, only to succumb to her father's Mexican gardener, Emmanuel. When her father catches her with the gardener, he banishes her to a trip with his twin brother, Uncle Jack, and Jack's wife Aunt Livia, who are headed for New York City. As Candy makes her way to the airport, Emmanuel's three sisters attack her because she has corrupted their brother. Because of Candy, Emmanuel has now forsaken the priesthood. During the scuffle, Candy's father takes a blow to the head, resulting in a serious head injury.