She lived in a small town of the South, the kind of place where girls become mothers before they get their driver’s license.
United States, late 80’s.
A young woman leaves her native town to run away from boredom and to find her place elsewhere, somewhere where dreams were possible. When she gets to San Francisco she becomes a waitress, makes friends with the young skaters of the neighborhood, relentlessly reads and rereads Lord of the Flies. A simple, honest and most of all a free life. But the dream ends when she receives a phone call: her mother just died. Forced to go back to her town, she meets her future husband, with whom she will have a daughter, Lua.
The young Lua grows up in this smooth world. She makes friends with the exjunkie Eddie, a disreputable neighbor. Being an expert on sorting things out, she rents her shoes to some of her classmates in exchange for a few bucks, she deals liquorice sticks, lollipops and nougat. She makes friends with her teacher James Freak, « this young teacher with snow white hair » who is missing a finger.
But this pleasant and untroubled life comes to a sudden halt when Lua’s father brings home a tarantula. The spider is a metaphor for adolescence and represents all the fears and disappointments of the adult world.