Recently widowed Godfrey, and his daughters Ernestine and Ermina, move from Florida to Brooklyn for a better life. Not knowing how to parent, Godfrey turns to religion, and especially to Father Divine, for answers. The girls absorb their new surroundings, but not necessarily religion.
Lily, Godfrey’s sister-in-law, shows up from Harlem, having promised her sister that if anything ever happened, she’d look out for the girls. Lily, while fascinating to her nieces, stands for everything Godfrey dislikes: communism, sexual freedom and the fight against racial discrimination. As the racial and social issues of the late 1950s escalate, personal issues between Godfrey and Lily explode, prompting him to walk out. A few days later, he returns, with a new wife—a white, German immigrant, Gerte.
With Godfrey immersed in religion, Lily claiming to be a part of the new revolution, and quiet, stoic Gerte coming from the horrors of Germany, life in the household gets heated.