Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We come to Eddie's third person and he is at a Diner in the snow. He sees different people in the diner but one especially surprises him, his father. Eddie is screaming at his father, but no one seems to care. At this time the author takes us through a series of stories to show us the relationship between Eddie and his father. Eddie and his father had a bad relationship but even now Eddie still wants to be able to talk to him. It is here that the third person appears, Ruby, whom Ruby Pier was named for where Eddie worked.

Ruby tells Eddie all about her life and how Ruby Pier came to be. He is confused and does not understand why she is here as his third person and his dad is over in the diner. She explains to him it is so he understands how his father died. At this time all Eddie knows is that his father died from pneumonia because of a drunken stupor he had been in one night. Eddie knows that to take care of his mother when his father passed he had to move and work at Ruby Pier taking over his dad's old job. He never stopped resenting his father for dieing the way he did and the way things turned out. Ruby is here to tell him about what he didn't know about his father but had always assumed and for him to learn his third lesson.

Eddie has held so much hate in his heart for so long over his father. Ruby shows him the real reason that he was wet and caught pneumonia, he was saving a friend's life. Eddie doesn't understand why everything had to happen how it did or why his father acted the way he did. Ruby tells him that the reason the diner is there is for her, to be reminded of her days before the pier. Her father is sitting there and this is Eddie's chance to forgive and let go of all those years of hate. She tells him, "Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from the inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."

Questions from Reading Group Guides.com:
- Examine whether or not you agree with the old woman when she tells Eddie, "You have peace when you make it with yourself," and why. Consider what she means when she says, "things that happen before you are born still affect you. And people who come before your time affect you as well." How does this relate to Eddie's life? Who are some who have come before you that have affected your own life?
- What is Eddie's father's response each time Eddie decides to make an independent move, away from working at the pier? Examine how Eddie's father's choices and decisions actually shape Eddie's life. Why does Eddie cover for his father at the pier when his father becomes ill? What happens then? Share your own experience of a decision your own parents made that affected your life, for better or for worse.
- Ruby tells Eddie that "we think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do we do to ourselves"? What is the significance of Ruby in Eddie's life? Why is this important for Eddie to understand? Is it important for all of us to understand? Why? Discuss whether or not you agree that, "all parents damage their children. It cannot be helped." How was Eddie damaged?

Eddie did forgive his father and let all that hate go. Have you ever or do you have a hate or a grudge you keep burning inside? Is it really hurting the person you are using it against? I think that this moment for Eddie releasing his father and forgiving him was probably like a breath of fresh air and a huge burden taken off of his shoulders finally. Don't you want to have that weight released? Eddie still doesn't find out what happens to the little girl he tried to save when he died. Next we will move on to the 4th person Eddie meets in Heaven.

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