This novel’s first and almost only main character is Eddie, an eighty-three year old man. He is a man who has lived almost his entire life on Ruby Pier, an amusement park right on the ocean. He is head of maintenance at the pier, which was his father’s job when Eddie was a child. Eddie is the protagonist of the novel and a dynamic one at that, as the story covers the day he was born, died, and everywhere between the two.
Eddie’s wife, Marguerite, is dead before the novel begins. She died when they were in their late forties from a brain tumor. The story flashes back to the days they spent together and shows them together in the afterlife.
She is also a very dynamic character. There are very few settings in this novel that can actually be described. The first would be Ruby Pier. Right on the ocean, this amusement park was one with the usual attractions, such as bumper cars and roller coasters. It had survived a fire a long time before the novel is set and the rubble was sold. The original owner of the pier was heartbroken and lost everything in the fire. Although it was eventually rebuilt, the owner and his wife never brought themselves to return.
A second setting in this novel is one that is almost not possible to explain. It is considered the “journey”, the place that one enters when traveling through different places in heaven. The sky constantly changes colors, from “bright lime,” to “misty pumpkin”.
And in this place, Eddie is “traveling” to his destination, where he meets a person and they talk about the connection they have between each other. Sometimes Eddie meets a person who he knew when he was a child. When this is the case, while on the “journey”, Eddie, although still appearing as an old man, can move just like a child.
For instance, a baby very flexible, so in certain cases Eddie could move flexibly. This “journey” place is a very odd place but a very notable one as well. The story begins at the end of Eddie’s life, which is really the beginning for the ending which is about to begin.
Furthermore, the ending that is the story isn’t really an ending but a continuation of the beginning. It starts out on Eddie’s eighty-third birthday, where Eddie dies trying to save a little girl from a falling piece of a ride. He is then taken on journey through heaven where he meets five people,.