Sixty-year-old Frances Pia lives alone on a thirty-foot sailboat anchored near Sausalito, where she communes with the fog, sea lions, cormorants, and two sailor friends, Otto and Russell. She performs random acts of public defacement—painting drainpipes, public restrooms, and murals on the sides of houses—which she believes are beautification projects, and struggles with bouts of depression and mania. Frankly, she’s a bit of a nutcase.
But Frances wasn’t always this way. She was once a Catholic nun with a sister, Anne, who loved her dearly. But then she slept with her brother-in-law, Greg—and ashamed and pregnant, she fled, leaving Anne, her art, and her vocation behind. When she also lost her baby, Nicola, in a freak accident, she lost faith in God and became a keeper of sorrows.
Through a series of wacky adventures, including bouts with the cops and the sea, Frances opens her heart to love for the first time in years—and begins to really paint the town, redeeming herself with Anne and freeing herself from her guilt over Nicola’s death along the way.