All they want is a Homecoming.
Dicey Tillerman is the 13-year-old big sister, and it’s up to her to look after the younger kids—a situation that becomes a lot more complicated when their mentally ill mother abandons them in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
Their mother said they were going on a trip to see their rich Aunt Cilla. Maybe their mother got confused, the way she does. Maybe she is already at Aunt Cilla’s waiting for them. Maybe not.
It’s the summer of 1975, and Raymie Clarke has a plan. Two days earlier, in the greatest tragedy of Raymie’s life, her father ran away from home with a woman who was a dental hygienist. But to make things right again, all Raymie has to do is learn how to twirl a baton, enter the Little Miss Central Florida Tire pageant, and win. Then her dad will see her picture in the paper and come home . . . right?
“You always think you want to be noticed. Until you are.” -- Sydney, Saint Anything