Parker Santé hasn’t spoken since his father’s car accident and he likes hanging around hotels where he can watch rich people, write stories and steal the money or other valuables they occasionally leave behind.
The book begins with Parker explaining that this is his response to a college application question and then informs us of his first encounter with Zelda, a pretty girl with silver hair, at the Palace Hotel. Parker steals a large sum of money from her bag, but has to go back and face her, full of shame, because he left his writing journal behind – his only means of communication.
Zelda claims to be 246 years old and tells Parker how she plans to spend her last five thousand days before jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Together they embark on a series of adventures where Parker learns how to live again. Their poignant, incredible story is intersected with fantasy stories that Parker writes. It matters not whether Zelda is forever 18 or 246 years old. The real message of this book is that life is worth living and stories are worth sharing.