Helen, a musician, is the single adopted mother of two little girls, Gena, 14, and Allie, 2. There are those who objected to a lesbian woman being allowed to have female foster children, and to Helen's horror, the girls are taken away from her. The girls escape, and find their way home on foot, and Helen goes into hiding with them, in far away Southern California. Along the way, Helen meets Penny O'Brien, and her daughter Erin, whom Penny believes is musically gifted, and they throw in their lot with Helen.
The story is about how Helen and Penny struggle to keep the older girls comfortable, and keep up with their schooling at home, always under the threat of being found out by the FBI. To make things more interesting, Helen gives birth to her only biological child, James. Gena, 13, Erin, 9, Alison, 2, and baby James give a lot of three-dimensionality to the story, and though this is not by any means a children's book, there are kids in every page of it.