Ellis is probably the most normal member of his weird family. His mother, Wendy, is a hippie who enjoys practising rituals of self-empowerment with a dubious boyfriend who lives in Tucson, Arizona. His father left him when he was young because of Wendy's eccentricities, leaving him to be raised by Goat Man; a long-haired, bearded botanist and goat tracker who has lived with him and his mother in their pool house for as long as he could remember. Ellis decides to attend the Gates Academy prep school on the East Coast that his father used to go to, devastating his mother who misses him dearly. He attempts to rebuild a relationship with his father who now has a beautiful girlfriend, a meticulous house and a baby on the way. Ellis is hurt that he was never informed about the imminent arrival of his half-brother but his dad takes the opportunity of seeing his son again to step up to being a proper father this time. Although Ellis settles into his new school well and meets a pretty girl from the area, he soon begins to realise how huge the gap between his life at home and his life on the East Coast really is.