The novel starts with Peg remembering where she began:
When I started high school in 1971, my plans for the future were not clear, but they included an exciting career that would take me all over the world, far from the boring small town of my parents. Instead, a series of detours became my life.
Telephones were all land lines and long distance calls were expensive. No one had a personal computer, the World Wide Web didn't exist, and it was still considered scandalous for TV to show a married couple sharing a bed — in pajamas, of course. Nice girls guarded their innocence; only bad girls were careless with theirs. Pregnant girls were forced to leave school in shame. Abortion was illegal. There was little coordination among police of different states and missing children couldn't be put into the FBI's database.
That Christmas I missed the first sign my world was about to be shattered. By June I would run away; by August I would be running again, from far worse, convinced I could never go home.
It was easy for me to disappear for ten years.
Peg shares journal entries written by her young self, adding more memories and her adult perspective as she goes from naïve fourteen-year-old to trafficked runaway in a few months. A small-town girl from Western New York, she makes one poor decision that changes the course of her life. Thinking she's pregnant, she runs away and is targeted and groomed by a skilled trafficker in Harrisburg the summer of Hurricane Agnes. Once he puts her to work, she escapes quickly, but she doesn't feel she can go home and instead sticks out her thumb for a ride west. She goes from the first Rainbow Family Gathering to the pot fields of Humboldt County, then on to college and work as a secretary in San Francisco. Relationships blossom then fade, until the adventure of a lifetime turns out badly and she finally goes home. But her journey's still not over. Left on her own with two daughters, she builds a stable life based on a fictionalized past. Then her older daughter runs away and Peg's real past is the key to reuniting her family. Only then does Peg's life truly come together. But being okay on her own doesn't mean she has to be alone. There is a romantic thread to help readers enjoy the ending.
A fictional saga that reads like a memoir, this is one woman's journey.