George Gattling is a man out of place in the world and out of place in his own skin. An auto-upholsterer by trade, he lives with his divorced sister Precious, and her 20 year-old autistic son, Fred. He's also the unwitting case study of a "life-gone-wrong" for Betty, a young psychology student who works at his shop. George seeks salvation in hawks. He dreams of capturing and training the noble birds of prey. An ancient art that requires precision, falconry is the obsession he shares with Fred. In the quiet pre-dawn tracking of the birds, George Gattling feels like a man temporarily freed from the absurdity of civilized life. After several years of failed attempts, George and Fred capture the most magnificent bird they have ever seen--the red-tailed hawk. That night, George experiences a tragedy greater than he's ever known. Grief stricken, George sees his only chance to survive tied together with the bird. He becomes determined to tame her--and to do that he will not eat or sleep, nor will she, until it's all over. At his weakest moment, George locks himself into a battle of wills with the only creature on earth that would rather die than submit. To the rest of the world, it appears George has gone mad; the closer he gets to achieving success, the crazier his family thinks he's become. Betty is the only one who realizes that George must take himself to the bottom to truly be saved. She watches as George succumbs to a world where the senses are awakened and emotions are unchecked--a world where one can see and feel the "blood of things."