Sixteen-year-old Elektra Kamenides is well on her way
to becoming a proper southern belle in the small Mississippi college
town she calls home. That is, until her mother decides to uproot her and
her kid sister Thalia and start over in California. They leave behind
Elektra's father-a professor and leading expert on Greek mythology, and
Elektra can't understand why. For her, life is tragedy, and all signs
point to her family being cursed. Stuffed into a run-down VW bug and
transplanted across the country against her will, Elektra fights her
mother from Lake Ponchartrain, Louisiana, to the first mesa in New
Mexico and on to the Joshua trees of the California desert.
journey ends in Guadalupe Slough, a community of old Chicano families
and oddball drifters sandwiched between San José and the southern shores
of San Francisco Bay. "We're going to get murdered," Elektra announces
upon their arrival. The houseboat that her mother has bought, sight
unseen, is really just an ancient trailer, parked on a barge, sunk into a
mudflat. A neighbor has left a welcome gift at their front door-a
tarantula named George, with a note: If you have roaches put George in your place he will take care of them.
They keep George.
What would Odysseus do?
Elektra asks herself. Determined to get back to Mississippi at all
costs, she'll beg, cheat, and steal to get there. But things are not
always what they seem, and home is wherever you decide to make it.