Supporting her are the social outcasts she calls her best friends: Daniel, a talented and eccentric artist; Grant, who makes his living peddling folk art by a denounced nun who paints plywood signs with twisted evangelical sayings; and Lary, who often, out of compassion, offers to shoot her like a lame horse.
Hollis' friends help her battle the mess of obstacles that stand in her way — including her warped childhood, in which her parents moved her and her siblings around the country like carnival barkers, chasing missile-building contracts and other whimsies, such as her father's dream to patent and sell, door to door, the world's most wondrous keychain. A past like this will make you doubt you'll ever have a future, much less roots. Miraculously, though, Gillespie manages to plant exactly that: roots, as wrested and dubious as they are.
As Gillespie says, "Life is too damn short to remain trapped in your own Alcatraz." Follow her on her wickedly funny journeys as she manages to escape again and again.