Jeannette Walls has a lot of experience with crazy mothers and in this book she tackles the topic fictionally. When Liz is fifteen and Bean (Jean– aha!) is twelve, their mother ups & leaves. When the “bandersnatchers” (police) turn up at their home, the girls board a Greyhound to the town where their mother grew up. As usual, initially, what the parent hates about the place, the children love.