Thirteen year old Nicolai Tate is tired of running. Homeless and pursued by the authorities, he is befriended by an old man seemingly able to see into the future and soon finds himself living in a boarding house full of misfits. There he encounters an unemployed drifter, Truman Birdsong, also without a home. Together, they forge an unlikely partnership. Dodging children's services and thugs hired by two wealthy brothers intent on owning the county, they join with the boarding house residents in trying to unravel the truth behind an antigovernment militia's plot. They have little idea the danger they will face. Punctuated by a budding romance, a violent storm and the old man's belief in the spirit world, the story follows Truman and Nicolai as they struggle to forge a new life out of their fractured pasts.