Andrew is adrift in the world, surrounded by bullies and other social predators. But then he meets the members of the fencing and medieval recreation clubs of the state college at New Paltz, and with them he embarks on an emotional journey to learn friendship, confidence, and family. He sword fights, goes streaking, rides a roller coaster, does a whippet, watches the sun rise for the first time, leaves the greatest phone message of his life, and gets roadside assistance from a clown. Through it all he encounters a colorful parade of characters, some eccentric, some charismatic, some loud and some quiet, and all of them good friends who leave a lasting impression on him as he grows into an adult. But finally, far sooner than he wished, the time comes when he has to let go and move on.