- Karin Schluter quits her job as a service representative to return home to Kearney, Nebraska to care for her comatose brother.
- Mark Schluter has a mysterious truck rollover on a deserted country road and eventually comes out of a coma suffering from a variety of delusions.
- Gerald Weber is a popular writer of books on neurology who answers a personal email from Karin requesting that he come to Nebraska. Weber may be a partial fictionalization of Gerald Edelman, a neurobiologist and former immunologist who was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for his elucidation of the structure of the human antibody (immunoglobulin or IgG). Edelman is the author of a number of books, including Wider than the Sky (2004).
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