Growing up Catholic, in a family where the reforms of Vatican II are seen as the work of Satan.
It is 1972, and Veronica’s parents believe that Vatican II’s liberalization has corrupted the Catholic Church, inviting the Holy Chastisement—an apocalypse prophesied by three shepherds in Fatima, Portugal. To spare his family from this horror, her father quits the highway patrol, sells everything, and moves the family of eight from California to an isolated village near Fatima.
But Portugal is no Catholic utopia, and the family schleps home penniless to join the nascent Catholic counter-revolution: attending the Latin Mass in truck garages and abandoned buildings; serving meals to religious soldiers; breeding a new member of the faithful every year. As Veronica comes of age on the fringes of the American Dream, she rebels against a fanaticism that forbids anything modern—clothes, movies, or music. This is the story, both sad and funny, of a family torn apart by religion, and brought back together in spite of the injuries it inflicted on itself.