An obese man who is a heavy drinker and smokes often. He is not really happy with his life, but is heading to his family's summer vacation spot,planning to meet his parents when they arrive.
He is instead located by a local patrolman who notifies him that his parents have been in an accident and are in the hospital. Soon after his parents pass away and he finds a letter that his sister, who has been missing for over 20 years has been found and her body needs to be claimed.
He travels, on a bike, across the country, building relationships as he goes.
This is a wonderfully enveloping novel.