Na dan, ko orkan Katrina popolnoma opustoši New Orleans, na smrt bolna Daisy Williams prosi svojo hčerko Caroline, naj ji bere iz dnevnika njenega dolgoletnega prijatelja Benjamina Buttona. Benjaminov dnevnik razkriva njegovo nenavadno življenje, ki ga je povzročila bizarna bolezen. Benjamin je poseben zato, ker se je rodil kot starček, z leti pa postaja čedalje mlajši. Prav zato ima priložnost, da na svojevrsten način doživi 21. stoletje, v katerem se je rodil, in obenem zavoljo svojega nenavadnega stanja okuša žalost, veselje in trpljenje v osebnem življenju.
On the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams (nee Fuller) is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being diagnosed with several aging diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin's biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations in Benjamin's diary are difficult for Caroline to read, especially as it relates to the time past this reconnection between Benjamin and Daisy, when Daisy gets older and Benjamin grows younger into his childhood years.