76 pages • 2 hours readNick Hornby
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Chapter Summaries & Analyses
Marcus does not tell his mother or Suzie that Will is lying about having a child because he knows the information could be useful later on. He keeps returning to Will’s flat, even though Will seems reluctant to host him. When they get onto the subject of school, Marcus confesses that he is being bullied, and Will suggests he “could do something” about his appearance, like getting his hair professionally cut (99). Will asks about how Marcus feels about Fiona’s situation, but Marcus cannot yet tell Will the truth: that he lives in fear of a second suicide attempt and that he comes to Will’s flat to delay going home.
Although Will “had spent his whole life avoiding real stuff,” he manages to accommodate Marcus’s visits into his daily routine and prides himself on giving the boy a break from his troubled life (104). One day, Marcus is followed to Will’s house by a group of older children who throw candy at him. While a horrified Will chases the bullies off, Marcus is eerily stoic. Will demands to know the history of the bullying. When Marcus admits that it makes him unhappy, Will takes him out to buy cool sneakers to replace his regulation black slip-on shoes.
By Nick Hornby