John Pulkis, last seen aged 16 in The Thought Dial, is now 20 and traveling the backroads of Europe in a 1970 Volkswagen Westfalia with his friend Stephen. The boys are footloose and fancy free—or are they? When they discover that they have run low on funds, John suddenly finds himself in a spiritual crisis. Indeed, as he looks out at the passing ruins in this wintry landscape, he sees that he is a hair’s breadth from despair. Each road stretches into infinity—into the rest of his life. What if they all lead nowhere?
Or can enlightenment be found even here, on the lonely roads of Italy?