In this turbulent novel, the family is about one step up from Tobacco Road somewhere in Eastern Kentucky. Young Lone McDaniel who has little to direct him beyond his mother's ambitions, has taken to rough rodding around town on his motorcycle with his wild friend Boyd Weaver. He relates most of his adventures to his bedridden sister Cassandra who lives a vicarious existence and can only find her release in her music. They must both deal with their drunken failure of a father but the suicide of their evangelistic uncle sets Lone off on a rampage. He is jailed just as Cassandra gets well enough to start making all of his mistakes in her search for self. Lone is let out only to discover that his bitter friend Boyd has tried to destroy his family by seducing both his mother and (almost) his sister. The book has a raw, crude appeal and it could follow a hard Easy Rider route.