For almost four decades, Bartholomew Neil has done nothing but live with his mom. When she begins calling him Richard—for reasons unknown—and then dies, Bartholomew is woefully unprepared."
A clue comes in the form of a "Free Tibet" letter he finds in his mother's underwear drawer, and so Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate fan letters. Jung's theory of synchronicity, the mystery of women, the Dalai Lama's teachings, alien abduction, cat telepathy and the Catholic Church are all explored in depth by Bartholomew's epistles—but mostly the letters outline one man's heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a "girlbrarian," her foul-mouthed brother and Richard Gere (well, sort of) join the quest. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada in search of Bartholomew's biological father and end up finding so much more.