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Sal, a young Native American girl, is on a journey with her grandparents, tracing the journey of her absent mother, Sugar. Having been removed from her rural environment into city life, she struggles to adapt to school and her father's dating. On her journey, she tells her grandparents tales about Phoebe Winterbottom, her best friend, and Phoebe's unusual family. During the trip, Sal's grandmother is taken ill and must be hospitalized. Her grandfather allows Sal to continue her journey to Lewiston, the destination of her mother. There she finds the wreckage of her mother's vehicle, and with the help of a peace officer, finds her mother's grave. This seemingly fruitless journey becomes one of discovery in the knowledge that her mother's spirit is alive in the earth and within herself.
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