At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts--no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her father focuses on his new girlfriend and his shoe business and has no time for his daughter. Without consulting her, he hires Iris out as a companion to a country doctor's elderly mother. Stuck in 1920s rural Missouri, Iris discovers that "hobo" might be short for "homeward bound" as she cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into family. But just as she starts to break out of her shell, tragedy strikes. Can Iris find the courage to carry on, and the cunning to outwit a menacing farmer? Beautifully realized characters and settings illuminate a story suffused with humor, warmth, and tear-jerking drama.