Although there are many other settings, both geographically and temporally, the novel's action mostly takes place in the southwestern United States. The plot is centered on a family trip by Jaz and Lisa Matharu with their severely autistic son, Raj. During the trip, Raj disappears and subsequently returns to his parents. The book also has several subplots which interact with the central storyline, including one about a cult founded by "Schmidt", a bomber pilot who served the United States during World War II.
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