McInerny infuses menace and compassion into Depression-era Minneapolis as plumber Horton Moon strays into crime and cheats on his wife. A kind of hapless everyman, Moon is capable of everyday kindness, but incapable of fidelity. As his weaknesses lead to collapse and flight, Moon's descent to Skid Row prepares the ground for redemption and rebirth through suffering. A fortuitous if unconvincing encounter with wise wanderers Ed Sprague and Ben—who flit in and out of the story—helps lead Moon to a dollop of insight that spurs his decision to return home and be lost no longer. Moon's first-person narration carries the story along, while his self-centeredness bears out wife Annie's denunciation of his character. McInerny's depiction of Moon's life on the road is more convincing than the turnaround of the character's fortunes. Still, readers will enjoy the colorful minor characters and follow Moon until the very end of his journey.