Brent is the main character in the novel. He goes to a party. Then he goes after a girl he likes and she turns him down. Therefore he drinks some beer. Once he leaves the party, he decides he wants to kill himself. He was going to. But instead of killing himself, he kills a girl. In his afterlife he found out who he killed. The girls mother does not press charges but she puts Brent on a Journey around the US. He must make 4 whirligigs that represent the girl he killed.
The first whirligig he makes in Washington is a harp player
The second whirligig he makes in California is a mermaid
The third whirligig he makes in Florida is a marching band
The fourth whirligig he makes in Maine is the largest of them all and is a girl (Lea Zamora) with seashells for a necklace and her face reflectors in the hair, etc
In the future, these affect people in each different state. If you read the book you will find out those stories