At fifteen, Iris is a hobo of sorts - no home, no family, no plan. Her mother died when she was six, and her selfish father hires her out as a companion to a country doctor's elderly mother. Iris, stuck in the middle of 1920s rural Missouri, discovers that "hobo" is short for "homeward bound," and cultivates an eccentric cast of folks into family, creating the home she never had. But when she learns that a neighboring tenant farmer may have had more than his hands on his pregnant daughter, Iris must intervene to save the girl and her unborn baby. The many facets of what makes a family are illuminated with warmth and charm in this beautifully crafted tale.