Lemon knows her mother loves her, but she also knows that Stella makes lots of bad decisions, mostly with men, which has led to mother and daughter being constantly on the move. In Virginia, Lemon decides it's time to start experimenting with sex, and she follows her mother's lead in choosing casual, irresponsible partners. When she and her mother move yet again, this time to West Virginia, Lemon is pregnant with the baby of a tattoo artist she has no intention of ever seeing again. Since she's considering raising her own child without a father, Lemon begins to wonder if she missed out by not having her own father around. Joined by her new friend Emmy, she takes a Greyhound to San Francisco to finally meet her father. The trip is relatively smooth as roads to self-discovery go, and even though Lemon gets off to a rough start with her dad, she is ultimately not disappointed. The novel is entirely character-driven, so it's helpful that the characters are complex, fully drawn people who make mistakes, change, grow, and remain likable through it all. Lemon [End Page 155] is, of course, at the center, and her uncertainty about her own talents, interests, boundaries, and goals will speak to readers asking the same questions about who and where they want to be. Her parents are patient, but then they have to be since they don't have the moral high ground to tell her how she should live and what her decisions should look like. Their compassionate responses subtly aid Lemon in her quest to bury the small resentments that have haunted her unconventional life; ultimately it is up to Lemon to learn to take them as they are, forgive their flaws, and love them as she learns to love and accept herself.