Marilyn loses contact with her mother at age 9 and doesn't get reacquainted with her mother until she is 33, when her mother is dying of cancer. Having grown up with no real home, she looks for home in the arms of men, in schools and churches, and in marriage. These places serve as a temporary refuge, but for the most part, home eludes her. She is sustained throughout her journey by her faith and her understanding that she is held by something larger than herself. Her wandering teaches her at last that home is not a place, but is rather a condition of the spirit.