Matt Caprioli never belonged in Alaska: too gay, too bookish, a faltering vegetarian. As a spiritual and sensitive young boy, he's raised by the exuberant and radiant but deeply impractical Abby Henry, who doesn't view his baptism in a horse trough or machete marks on their new apartment door as peculiar. Abby works as a baker in Anchorage, so the two leave Lazy Mountain each morning at 3:30am to drive through single-digit weather in a rickety, church-donated Mustang with no passenger window, no snow tires, and one headlight. Lacking money and direction, Caprioli nonetheless adores his mother and the world they share.
As a young man, Caprioli leaves Alaska to chase his dream of writing in Manhattan, along the way working as a journalist and sex worker. His bond with his mother is tested as Caprioli tries to forget where he comes from. But when Abby falls ill at 53, Caprioli returns to Anchorage to care for her, and is forced to reckon with the true meaning of home.
In telling his story, Caprioli captures the love and joy of our deepest bonds, of the myths and hopes surrounding America's largest state, and the momentous power of a quiet drive with those we love.