This is a somewhat San Francisco centric story about Clatter, a Cable Car who is tired of being constrained by societal norms. It is clear that Clatter is not happy with his circumstances, but the story does not specifically say that Clatter is clinically depressed.
Due to a stroke of luck and happenstance, Clatter finds himself in an unlocked Cable Car Barn. Seizing on the opportunity, Clatter sneaks out in the dark of night and begins a rather Joycean odyssey.
While I don't want to spoil the ending for potential readers, I can say that the author takes you on an emotional roller coaster (or maybe Cable Car). While most of the story takes place in San Francisco, two brief portions, which might be dream sequences or hallucinations, take place in New York City and Miami Beach.
The illustrations are very colorful. I particularly like one of the water colors of Chinatown.
The author and illustrator is Marion Church Martin, who was born in Victoria, British Columbia, and spent her adult life in Berkeley California. Mrs. Martin is a well known painter, sculptor, and author. This book was published in 2001 when Mrs. Martin was 98 years old. Mrs. Martin lived an active life until the age of almost 104 years old.
This book is unlike any that I read as a child.