Jessica, a serious, bookish 16-year-old from New Brunswick, places a personal ad in the hopes of finding her father, a drug-dealing philanderer who ran off with the local hairdresser, leaving Jessica's mother distraught and Jessica in charge of her young autistic brother, Timmy. Sween, a rebellious, pool-playing dropout from Saskatchewan, responds to the ad. Over time, the two establish an intense long-distance relationship in which they provide mutual support and advice, as Jessica finds herself attracted to one of her father's biker friends and Sween suffers a nervous breakdown after a fight with his family leaves him fending for himself in a cabin in the woods. Eventually, Sween fixes up an old motorbike and travels east to help Jessica prevent Timmy from being institutionalized. When the two finally meet, the resulting encounter surprises both -- and the reader -- as they find reality at odds with the mental images they've created.
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