Mona Lisa Figg Newton is an overweight, lonely, and cynical teenager. She hates her family, who, even though they have the best intentions, are just too 'weird' for her. Many years ago, before Mona was born, they were ex circus freaks, and they still act in the unusual ways, much to Mona's embarassment. There's Sissie, Mona's mother, who constantly tap dances, Newton, a used car dealer, "who always manages to lose money in every car deal he makes.", and then there's Truman, "a double jointed idiot", and Mona's cousin, Fido, who walked on all fours until he was six.
And then there's Uncle Florence, who according to Mona, "is the best of the lot by far." Uncle Florence is Mona's only friend and confidante. Florence is a well-known book dealer, and Mona admires him for that, even though he's hinting he might die soon.
When Uncle Florence dies, Mona realizes she is truly alone. She alienates herself from her family, from her city, from her whole world. She soon develops a mental illness, and desperately tries to find Uncle Florence once again.
This report prepared by Emugirl