Eleven-year old Ann August and her mother Adele abandon their home in Wisconsin and set off on a drive to California so Ann can become a child film star in Hollywood. Left behind are the two people Ann loves best in the world: her grandmother Lillian and her cousin Benny. Frivolous Adele is the cause of all Ann's worries: she's always hoping to get rich, trying to attract a new husband and spending too much money on clothes. Their relationship has always been close, but volatile. As they drive across the parched American landscape, in search of a better life, theirs is a journey of discovery - of new possibilities, of their respective dreams and of each other.
Mona Simpson is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim grant and the Hodder Fellowship at PrincetonUniversity. She is the author of the acclaimed novels The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road (Atlantic). She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two children.