A lady in shimmering white says she is the immaculate conception. And Alice can suddenly hear and speak, and she can perform miracles. Soon the site of the visitation, beneath an ancient oak tree, has become a shrine, a holy place for thousands of pilgrims. But Alice is no longer the guiltless child overwhelmed by her new saintliness. She has become the agent of something corrupt, a vile force that is centuries old. Innocence and evil have become one.