15-year-old Elizabeth Marie Hall awakes to find herself aboard a cruise ship named the SS Nile with no recollection of how she got there. As she and her roommate Thandi explore the ship, both of them begin to remember what has brought them aboard. Liz's bald head and the stitching at the back of her head only solidifies the fact that Liz is truly dead and that this is not a nightmare.
When the SS Nile docks, Liz finds herself in Elsewhere, a place quite similar to Earth. Liz's Grandma Betty, whom she had never met on Earth, meets her at the dock and offers her a place to live. During her first day in Elsewhere Liz learns that like on Earth, people in Elsewhere have jobs, cars, and even fall in love and get married. Unlike Earth, however, people age backwards. Frustrated that she will only get younger rather than older, Liz wants nothing more than to return to her former life. Spending all her free hours at the Observation Deck viewing life on Earth, Liz prevents herself from enjoying her existence in Elsewhere.
After attempting to make Contact with her brother Alvy on Earth, Liz is introduced to Owen. The two teenagers develop a tentative friendship that could be the beginnings of a sweet romance. Just as she is adjusting to her life in Elsewhere, the arrival of someone in Elsewhere from Owen's past threatens to destroy all the progress Liz has made. Because she died so young, Liz has the option to return to Earth and start afresh. Heartbroken, Liz makes a rash decision to make the journey back to Earth. As she begins her Release, she realizes that she already has everything she wants right there in Elsewhere.
Afraid of losing what is the biggest love of his after life, Owen does not give up hope that Liz has changed her mind. He searches for her long after everyone else has given up, discovering Liz stuck in a place between Earth and Elsewhere. Once rescued, Liz and Owen live their afterlives happily with one another. The years pass quickly, and soon it is time for Liz to be Released. As she is preparing to be born again, she happily reflects on the fulfilling life she has lead in Elsewhere.