Satellite Street is woven through with the theme of transitions. Paul Marden is grappling with the way that a sudden, devastating illness and his slow recovery have made him reevaluate what "normal" is for a man in his sixties who grew up in a time of change that promised better days than the ones he is now living through. Another character's transition involves both gender and spirit; Lelee was born male and wanted to transition to female but the process has been hindered by heart issues. Lelee also believes that she can speak to the dead, although she is skeptical of her own experiences.
The rundown beach town both Paul and Lelee grew up in is itself in a transitional phase: suddenly rediscovered by surfers and other millennials, it has become a magnet for hipsters. The coastal town where Paul and Lelee live now lies between a bridge to another upscale beach town and an area of canals and marshland and has been heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Paul's rented house, on Satellite Street, is one of the few that survived the storm.
Set amongst the context of these thematic elements, the story revolves around Paul's relationship with these places and with Lelee as well as his father, an elderly nursing home patient. It is Paul's father who inadvertently involves him in a feud between the Great Oswaldo, a long-ago children's program host who has become a professional skeptic and Happy Howie, who speaks through Lelee, demanding that Paul settle an old score for him with Oswaldo.