Beauty Cookson is no beauty. Shes a plain, timid girl surrounded by super-confident, snooty girls at school. Worse than the teasing in the playground, though, is the unpredictable criticism from her father. Frequently berated for breaking any of Dads hyper-fussy house rules, as well as for her lack of looks, confidence and friends, Beauty lives in uneasy fear whenever Dads at home. Her pretty, sweet mum is equally subject to Dads tirades. Eventually, after an unbearable birthday party and a very real fear that Dads temper is out of control, Mum and Beauty run away.