I'd wondered about my mother all my life -- what she looked like, how she smelled and sounded and acted. Lately this wondering had grown to encompass a curiosity about the kind of people she herself came from, because they were my family, too, after all, even though I knew nothing about them. I'd no idea whether they were loud or soft-spoken, funny or boring, preferred chocolate to vanilla, if they liked movies over books or the other way around. I wondered whether any of them had ever done anything magnificent in their lives, or if they were the kind of folks who were satisfied with just getting by. These things were important -- knowing them would help me to know myself, and the only way that would happen was if I went and looked for her.
With all his possessions on his motorcycle, Billy Mann sets off on a cross-country odyssey from New York to Santa Fe in search of a mother who deserted him long ago. What Billy discovers, however, is a life rich with possibility -- the chance for love, friendship, and, finally, a family to call his own.