Throughout the first three chapters of A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, the reader is introduced to a multitude of characters including the narrator of the story, John Wheelwright, his mother Tabitha, his cousins Simon, Noah, and Hester, and John’s best friend Owen Meany.
Owen Meany is an extremely short boy with luminous skin and a high-pitched voice. However, despite his peculiarities, he has a confident personality and has strong faith and beliefs in his religion. Continuing on throughout the first quarter of the book, the reader comes to realize that John is telling this story as an adult from his home in Toronto during the Reagan era.
The novel does not follow a typical chronological structure, and it is seemingly John’s adult self recounting specific and influential memories from his adolescence in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of these stories is how Owen Meany accidentally hits a foul ball onto John’s mother’s head and kills her. John then jumps around in terms of chronology and discusses when his mother was getting married, and soon after, he recounts her funeral.