For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. But when she dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His grief counsellor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly? Bartholomew thinks he's found a clue when he discovers a "Free Tibet" letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother's underwear drawer. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women, are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man's heart-breakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own. Eventually a family of sorts assembles, and Bartholomew is joined by this unlikely crew of companions on his quest to find his biological father... but what they discover is so much more.