In the same vein as Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield, Landon arrives at his existence through a tragedy, wherein his psyche becomes fractured. For emotional success, Landon must work to recognize how his mind has engaged in self-preservation: a combination of repressing memories and re-defining reality so it doesn't hurt when life's recordings invade the mind.
Landon starts to confront these repressed memories and warped views of his past when he's forcefully removed from his abusive home in Leigh, Nebraska, and placed in a counseling center. He attempts a re-entry into an "old family" he thought had abandoned him. And while this therapeutic process seems to soothe his trauma, another revelation demands that Landon search his repressed memories for the details of a serious crime he has no recollection of. The "truths" flood in, leaving the reader with a profound sense of how trauma robs the self of mind ...and spirit.