49 pages 1 hour read

Jason Reynolds

The Boy in the Black Suit

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Chapters 7-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary: “Against the Rules”

Matt attends school, goes to work, and sleeps in the house alone during the weeks that his father stays in the hospital physical rehabilitation unit. He dreams nightly about his mother attending her own funeral and grows to enjoy this dream time with her. Mr. Ray looks out for Matt and takes him to visit his father, who gradually learns to walk again. Matt's father’s jaw and ribs heal, and one day, Matt hears him joking with Dr. Winston in a way that “sounded like himself again. He sounded like Daisy Miller’s husband” (119).

Matt maintains his grades at school but focuses more on his job working for Mr. Ray. He comes to enjoy his afternoons and looks forward to attending funerals. Each time he sits in on one, he looks for the person who was closest to the deceased, whom he can always pick out by their signs of grief. Matt can hear “the sound of their hearts breaking, weeping, sobbing, all in the pitch of pain” (114). He knows that no one attending the funeral can help them through their grief, just as no one can help him through his grief for his mother, but “just knowing that we were all struggling with this thing…that helped” (114).