Student Question

In Saint Maybe, how do chapters 9 and 10 echo the story's beginning?

Quick answer:

Chapters 9 and 10 bring the story full circle in Saint Maybe by introducing a new character. At the beginning we are introduced to Daniel's partner, Lucy, and at the end we are introduced to Ian's son, Joshua. The echoes at the beginning which are also present at the end are those of newness and hope.

Expert Answers

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This novel begins and ends with the Bedloe family being introduced to someone new. At the beginning, Danny Bedloe, the son of Doug and Bee, who is described as a man who can do no wrong and a former jock, introduces the family to Lucy, who he plainly loves.

At the novel's conclusion, more than twenty years later, it is Ian Bedloe who is bringing somebody new into the family fold. It is his baby son, Joshua. Both these introductions—to Lucy and to Joshua—will have far-reaching significance for this family, who, by the final chapter, have endured much.

It is a fitting ending for Ian to perceive that he is bringing something new and good to the family, since in his mind, his actions have taken so much away from it in the past. During the course of the story, Ian accuses Lucy of being unfaithful to Daniel, which leads to Daniel being killed after he drives his car into a wall. No one is ever sure whether or not he did it intentionally. In the aftermath of that, Lucy dies of a drug overdose. While the entire Bedloe family tried to convince Ian that these tragedies were not his fault, he never truly believed it. The guilt that he has felt has defined much of his life, and the hope at the end of this great story is that taking care of Joshua will allow Ian to assuage his feelings of guilt.

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