Mary lives in a town ruled by the Sisterhood and the Guardians. The village is surrounded by fences; beyond lies only forest. There are only three ways through the fence: gates that open on paths that are themselves enclosed by fencing, expelling those who've been infected. Where the two paths lead, no one knows, for the Sisterhood says the village is the only human habitation left on Earth.
Mary has been raised on stories passed down from her great-great-great-grandmother about life before the coming of zombies. She is especially fascinated by the ocean and believes if she could reach it, she would be free.
Her adventure starts when there is a breaching in the fence. Mary must escape, find true love, and friendship while figuring out the mystery behind the other gates and fences. After a sad, hectic, twisted turn of events she finds the ocean, but it isn't at all what she expected.