Gracie's journey around the South with her father - a charismatic itinerant serpent-handling believer - is a kind of Appalachian pilgrim's progress through the dark places of the soul. She tells her story in her own words, for she is a 'believer in the Word, and I am not going to flinch from telling it, not even the terrible things, not even the part about Lamar nor how Mama died nor the true nature of Travis Word nor what transpired between me and Randy Newhouse.' Yet her story is shot through with light too, especially those happy childhood days in the beloved house up on Scrabble Creek with her sweet Mama, glamorous sister Evelyn and soul mate Billie Jean, stalwart brothers Joe Allen and little Troy Lee. Their rich life, full of signs, wonders, and miracles, ends abruptly at the tragic homecoming of their father's Jesus Name Church. That's when Gracie hits the road to salvation - a rough and exhilarating ride.