We're Mennonites. As far as I know, we are the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you're a teenager. Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel longs to hang out with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull in New York City's East Village. Instead she's trapped in East Village, Manitoba: a town with no train station, no bar, and where job prospects consist of slaughtering chickens at the Happy Family Farms abattoir. Since her mother and sister have left home, Nomi lives with her father, Ray, a sweet yet hapless school teacher. Fighting against the restraints of the town, Nomi's longing for a future of opportunity and hope sets her on course towards a climax at once startling and inevitable.