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Candy Quackenbush, a sixteen-year-old girl, is bored with her life and is desperate for something new. She lives in Chickentown, Minnesota, has a drunkard father, and is often made fun of by other kids. One day at school, a strange image enters her head, and she draws it in a textbook. When her teacher notices, she is furious, and Candy has the sudden impulse to simply walk out of school. She wanders around town before coming to a vast field with an old lighthouse, and wonders why there would be a lighthouse where there is no sea for thousands of miles. She soon has her answer. Candy is thrust into the Abarat, a fantastic archipelago of twenty-five islands: one for each hour of the day, plus one extra: the mysterious Time Out of Time. Candy feels as if this place is familiar to her, and makes many friends, but all is not well: Christopher Carrion, Prince of Midnight, is pursuing her. Candy must find her place in this strange new world.
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