When the novel begins, protagonist Marliee Levitay is driving to Alamogordo, New Mexico in a '72 Dodge Dart. The purpose of this trip is to surprise her boyfriend, Larry, who has moved there several months before. When she arrives, she fully intends to marry him. That is, she did intend on marrying him, until she picks up a hitchhiker by the name of Enoch Swann. Enoch is a habitual hitchhiker that travels aimlessly around the southwest; he is also a dwarf. As their journey toward Alamogordo progresses, the two stray further and further off the path. They find adventure together as they explore New Mexico and each other's secret laden pasts. When Marilee finally arrives at Alamogordo (also known as Rocket City) without Enoch, she is uncertain if she still wants to marry Larry. Will Enoch and Marilee reunite, or will Marilee find love with Larry.
Every other chapter is devoted to a side story about Louis Figman, an insurance adjuster running from his troubled life. He has moved to Mexico to live the rest of his short life as a painter; Figman adamantly believes that he dying of a brain tumor contrary to medical opinion. He rents a house there from an eccentric older woman named Verdie Hooks, whose mail is suspiciously grim. Figman meets a beautiful young woman named Oma, whose front teeth are broken. At the end of “Rocket City,” Marilee and Figman's busy lives cross paths. Will Figman die or will he find the romance he so desperately wants?
This report prepared by Anna Ellermeyer