50歲的Juan Diego 是一位稍有名氣的作家，他的菲律賓之旅是為了完成對某一個人的承諾。醫生開了降血壓的藥讓他帶著，同時要他服用威而鋼，因為血壓藥讓他感到疲乏，威而鋼可以提振他的精神。同時服用這兩種藥，常常干擾他寫作。於是他決定自行減少劑量，不照著醫生的建議每天服用。由於藥量減輕，加上在菲律賓的旅途，使他更加疲憊，常常打盹做起夢來，這些夢是他過去在墨西哥的童年歲月。
少年時期的他，靠著在垃圾場撿拾資源過活，那時他有個妹妹，叫Lupe。由於Lupe的聲帶天生變形，說的話旁人都聽不懂，只有Juan Diego可以了解，兩人因此更加地相偎相依。Juan Diego因為一場卡車意外跛了腳，卻能靠著撿拾舊書自學。兄妹倆有垃圾場管理人El Jefe與耶穌會教師Pepe弟兄照看。Pepe驚訝於他的自學能力，領著兄妹倆住進了天主教堂附屬的孤兒院。Juan Diego 與Lupe不願就這麼認命地待在那裡，他們想要開創自己的人生，於是加入了當地的馬戲團。Juan Diego相信，他能克服殘疾，成為傑出的空中表演者。Lupe 是個讀心人，可以看穿大部分人的心思；她也有通靈之眼，可以清楚地看見大部分人的過去，但只能模糊地看見他們的未來。當她預視所愛之人的未來時，會不會想做出或許可以改變未來的事？他們應該認命，還是要奮力改變命運？
這是一本風趣、感人的書，且讓人深思 - 我們要選擇命運還是自由意志？
John Irving returns to the themes that established him as one of our most admired and beloved authors in this absorbing novel of fate and memory.
In "Avenue of Mysteries," Juan Diego a fourteen-year-old boy, who was born and grew up in Mexico has a thirteen-year-old sister. Her name is Lupe, and she thinks she sees what s coming specifically, her own future and her brother s. Lupe is a mind reader; she doesn t know what everyone is thinking, but she knows what most people are thinking. Regarding what "has" happened, as opposed to what "will, " Lupe is usually right about the past; without your telling her, she knows all the worst things that have happened to you.
Lupe doesn t know the future as accurately. But consider what a terrible burden it is, if you believe you know the future especially your own future, or, even worse, the future of someone you love. What might a thirteen-year-old girl be driven to do, if she thought she could change the future?
As an older man, Juan Diego will take a trip to the Philippines, but what travels with him are his dreams and memories; he is most alive in his childhood and early adolescence in Mexico. As we grow older most of all, in what we remember and what we dream we live in the past. Sometimes, we live more vividly in the past than in the present.
"Avenue of Mysteries "is the story of what happens to Juan Diego in the Philippines, where what happened to him in the past in Mexico collides with his future."