Bernard Walsh, agnostic theologian, has a professional interest in heaven. But when he accompanies his reluctant father to Hawaii it is not in quest of a vacation paradise; it is to visit Jack's dying, estranged sister. The hand of Fate, and family tensions, conspire to frustrate the planned reunion. Surrounded by quarrelling honey-mooners, girls looking for Mr Right, a freeloading anthropologist, and assorted tourists all determinedly pursuing their humdrum visions of paradise, Bernard finds Waikiki more like puragtory. Until, that is, he stumbles upon something he had given up hope of finding: the astonishing possibility of love.