Yes, this is about a girl named Tallahassee. (I knew very well what "Tallahassee" was, considering I'd recently moved to Florida when I read this and that was the capital of my new state.) Poor Tallahassee kind of has an abusive mom, but not in the more obvious way. Her mom has been stringing her along and refusing to maturely provide a stable existence for her daughter, routinely uprooting her and making her follow her across the country as she chases fame and success. And all along, Talley has felt like she and her mother are more like friends or sisters than they are mother and daughter.
Eventually Tallahassee's mother decides to plop her down with her uncle Dan and her strict Aunt Thelma so it will be easier for her to pursue her fanciful dreams out west. Tallahassee believes just about as much as her mother does that one day everything will turn out great for them and then her mom will send for her, so she has no qualms about telling everyone she meets about her mom the future movie star and how she isn't going to be living with Aunt Thelma's insufferable rules and condescending comments about her immature mom very long.
But slowly, she starts to listen to the messages her more mature aunt gives her about her mother, and she realizes that her mother isn't a perfect person who can do no wrong. I remember poor desperate Talley spending her silver dollars trying to get as far west as possible, no plan in hand much like her mother, and all the pain she had to deal with in accepting that sometimes you love and trust people who just aren't good for you, even if they're related by blood. I also really liked that Aunt Thelma, despite being much better for Tallahassee's stability and emotional growth than her mother was, did have some flaws and was sometimes harsh (can you say judging the apple for the sins of the tree?)--it was enough to really make me feel for Talley. I love when books don't have just a Wise Old Adult who's perfect and all their wisdom is shown as Ultimate Truth by the end.