When eighteen-year-old Jerry Payne first meets Pookie Adams at the Friarsburg, Oklahoma, bus depot, he is hardly aware that this moment marks the beginning of the most memorable love affair of his life. Overwhelmed (and yet secretly enchanted) by her zany, rambling monologue, Jerry is relieved to leave her in St. Louis as he continues to New York. Thinking he's seen the last of her, he heads off to college, only to be pursued by seventeen lengthy letters, and before he knows it he's involved with a seemingly crazy, startlingly honest girl who adores him. During the next two years, Pookie helps Jerry leave behind the fun-seeking, beer-blasted fraternity man he has become, as she teaches him to open his heart to her. Then, almost as suddenly as she appeared in his life, she disappears from it, leaving in her wake an eternal trail of love and wonder.