The story centers on Veronika, a woman in her mid twenties who appears to have everything: good looks, good job and a great life ahead of her. Yet she decides to end her own life. She is unsuccessful and awakens in a mental hospital where she learns that she has five days to live. We learn that the reason that she attempted suicide was that she felt so constrained by the rules and expectations of 'normal' society that she had concluded that she had experienced all that life had to offer. However in the hospital she meets people who are only 'insane' because they don't always follow society's rules. With little left to lose, Veronika embarks on a journey on which she frees herself to experience relationships and emotions and ultimately discovers what it means to live.