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In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett returns home to his younger brother Billy after serving fifteen months in a juvenile facility for involuntary manslaughter. They are getting ready to leave their old life behind and head out to sunny California.
But they’re not alone. Two runaways from the youth work farm, Duchess and Wolly, have followed Emmett all the way to Nebraska with a plan of their own, one that will take the four of them on an unexpected and fateful journey in the opposite direction – to New York City.