When Alison Hayes walks into her storm-darkened trailer the afternoon of her sixteenth birthday, she has no idea that it will be the beginning of a year like no other. Her mother has lost her job, again, the most stable man they’ve ever had in their lives is looking for the nearest exit, and her best friend is dating the prom queen. She can’t remember the last time anything good had happened to her. If the rails still passed through the town, she would definitely be on the wrong side, always looking across to everyone else, it seemed, who had it so much better than she. Dirty. Trash. The words have followed her through her life in her tattered, rust-stained jeans. She longs to understand her mother--who is lost and broken, driven by her addictions, by her losses--and to reconcile the memory of MOTHER before with MOTHER now. In the chaos of their one acre in the world, Alison strives for sanity, forging a path through the wreckage into the light. She is alone and must learn to stand alone, or she will be swept by the same undercurrents of self-defeat that took her mother so many years ago. During these worst of times, she discovers her own strength and determination and a powerful drive to do something better.