An unnamed man takes a walk on the beach and feels he grasps the essence of eternity, only to be struck by how meaningless his life has been, with its pursuit of material successes. The man keeps a diary of his efforts to understand this life-altering experience and reconnect with his previous sense of contentment, as he struggles to cope with his new worldview. Smith's novel probes issues such as the meaning of life and the possibility of life after death—but doesn't come up with any new answers. Readers will likely find themselves reflecting on their own lives. But because the author's everyman never becomes a fully realized character with whom readers can identify, they may ultimately find Smith's novel uncompelling.