Mim's father has recently divorced her mother and married Kathy, a waitress at Denny's whom he met shortly after separating from his wife. Therefore Mim's mother has moved to Cleveland. The relationship between Mim and her father is not the best, she is much closer to her mother who is half Cherokee and more of the free spirit in the relationship. Mim's father is set on medicating Mim as she shows signs of being manic depressive like her mothers sister Isabel who committed suicide. But then it will be revealed to us that the letters are adressed to Mim's unbourn half sister. Kathy is pregnant. Recently Mim has been prescribed Abilify but does not want to take the medication.
The entire book will be told to us through a compilation of letters addressed to Isabel ( who we assume is Mims Mothers sister Isabel) As we get to know our 16 year old heroine Mim (Mary Iris Malone) who will jump on a Greyhound bus after over hearing a conversation in the principals office between the principal, her father and her step mother (of whom Mim is not precisely fond of) in which Mim understands her mother is sick. Without giving it a second thought Mim decides she must get to her mother who lives in Cleveland, before or on Memorial Day (as this was their special day).
With a fearless tunnel vision Mim gets on a Greyhound bus headed to Cleveland to find her mother.
Mim has to dodge Poncho Man as she calls him. There is something shady about this man. He keeps on hidding on Mim and making her uncomfortable. Then Mim meets Arlene, an elderly woman sitting next to her holding on to a little wooden box. Arlene and Mim talk even though Mim is not a fan of talking to strangers, theres something about Arlene that is different. In Mim's own words "We've only just met, but things like time hardly matter when dealing with a familiar spirit". Mim asks what the wooden box contains, Arlene does not want to talk about it. (We can piece together that it is for her nephew Ahab, who she mentioned recently came out of the closet to his family to whom she is taking the box to).
The Bus ride seems to be going smoothly until one of the tires and the Bus tips over. Arlene dies.
As the paramedics are lifting Arlene's lifeless body out of the bus Mim see's the little wooden box Arlene was clenching on to and grabs it. Mim looks at her phone and see's her father and Kathy have been calling relentlessly.
The bus driver apologizes to everyone and says that to whomever wants to continue their journey, Greyhound will pay for the rest of the trip (food, hotels, etc.)
During one of the rest stops in Nashville, Poncho man who was one of the people who continued on the greyhound bus with Mim starts to follow Mim into a dark alley and threatens her with a gun to give him her money and to kiss him. This is where the heroic genius of Mim kicks in she makes Poncho man thinks she is going to kiss him and right when he is kissing her she projectile vomits into his mouth (this...