"Sometimes life is so hard and then, bingo, it's like happiness is pushing at your back, waiting to come out of your front...."
On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up; waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her; waiting for her breasts to blossom; waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have been struggling to understand their distant, often violent father. Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend. Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend's house - until Katie's admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life.