In 1963, Eleanor ""Dove"" Derrysaw's dysfunctional parents send her to summer with her free-spirited aunt Anna in rural Kansas. Anna sings at the top of her voice, waits table at Don's Truck Stop, and dates a handsome Cheyenne, Troy -- all an exhilarating change for Dove, who resolves to live the summer to the fullest. In short order, Anna teaches Dove to drive (with implausible ease), copulates so noisily with Troy that Dove too (in the next room) is aroused, and explains selected facts of life (e.g., what ""queers"" are). But mostly, Dove hangs around the restaurant. Then Anna gets sick and moves to the sofa Dove's been using; in Anna's bedroom, Dove finds letters to her from Dove's dead grandmother lamenting the near-destruction by whites of their people's proud Chickasaw heritage. Inspired to do her own vision quest, Dove spends days fasting in the desert to find herself. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to find: While unbelievably precocious for a 13-year-old, Dove is pretty shallow. Other characters, too, are one dimensional, even ""madcap"" Anna, who comes off as merely silly. A rambling, episodic story that goes just about nowhere.