American Allie Fox is a genius - especially when it comes to anything mechanical - and an idealist. He dropped out of Harvard to become an inventor, he now with nine patents and six pending. He loves the US, but is disillusioned by what it has become in so many different facets. As such, he unilaterally decides to uproot his family - his wife who he affectionately calls "Mother", their two sons Charlie and Jerry, and their twin daughters April and Clover - from their comfortable New England life to move to the jungles of Central America, most specifically Mosquitia. There, he hopes to start from scratch to build a society closer to his own ideals - his utopia. He believes he is doing this not just for himself, but for his family, as he wants his children to learn from real life as opposed to from books. Allie will learn that he may have his own view of what he wants to achieve, but that there are external forces, both human and non-human, that may conspire against him. Outwardly, chief amongst his human obstacles is missionary, Reverend Spellgood, whose work Allie believes is solely narcissistic propaganda. In turn, Reverend Spellgood believes Allie is a communist. But what may be lurking underneath the surface as another obstacle is Allie's own family, who may ultimately rebel against something in which they had no input, especially as Allie has a policy of anyone being free to leave if they want, but be excommunicated from the family forever. Allie, too, will have to decide how far he will go to achieve his ultimate dream.