If you can listen to the audio book of this, I highly recommend for it's ability to break your heart. I'm quite sure the printed word will do the same but strive for heartbreak.
Our main narrator is Oskar Schell. A nine-year-old boy who lost his dad in the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center. As with most of the family who lost loved ones that day, there was no body to bury which makes it difficult to accept the loss. Oskar finds a key in his dad's closet about a year or so after they buried an empty coffin. Oskar believes that the key must be very important for his dad to have it and he sets out with the key and the only clue that came with it: Black. His quest is to talk to every Black in NYC in order to find the lock for the key.
We also get narration from Oskar's grandma through letters. She adores Oskar but the more we learn about her back story, the more tragic it is.
Our third narrator is Oskar's grandpa, who left his grandma the day after she said she was pregnant with Thomas, Oskar's dad.
This is a terribly tragic family.
Oskar's quest does wrap up but it's the journey to the end that is so well worth taking. Oskar is an unusual boy but as we walked on, I really grew to love him. The tragedy that seems to plague this family is heartbreaking and, quite honestly, even in 2016, the attack of 9/11 is still very fresh in memory, so it's even more haunting.
This is a wonderful book, so well worth reading. From reading other reviews, it sounds like reading the book is less preferred because of the difficulty in understanding which narrator is speaking, Try the audio book. With 3 separate readers, it makes it very easy.