Chapters 23-24 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 596

When Eve is released from the hospital, Denny discusses with Eve’s parents, Maxwell and Trish, where Eve should stay. Denny reluctantly gives in to Eve’s parents’ request to take care of their daughter. Eve will need a nurse to be on hand but Denny has to work during the day....

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When Eve is released from the hospital, Denny discusses with Eve’s parents, Maxwell and Trish, where Eve should stay. Denny reluctantly gives in to Eve’s parents’ request to take care of their daughter. Eve will need a nurse to be on hand but Denny has to work during the day. Maxwell and Trish are retired, so they can be at home with Eve, and they can afford the nursing care. Once Denny relents, Maxwell and Trish put pressure on Denny to also allow them to care for Zoe. At first, Denny resists. Then he realizes that maybe it would be best for Eve to have Zoe near her all day.

A few days later, Denny takes Zoe and Enzo to his in-law’s home. A hospital bed has been set up in the living room. Then Eve arrives. This is the first time that Enzo has seen Eve since the hiking accident. Her head is covered in a knitted cap. She has lost a lot of weight and the color of her skin has grayed. When Eve finally notices Enzo and calls him to her, Enzo feels unsure of how to greet her. Eve says she does not blame him for his reluctance to draw near. Eve tells him she does not like the way she looks either.

Later when Eve’s parents are talking to Denny, they insinuate that Eve only has a short time to live. The doctor, they remind Denny, told them Eve might have only six months left. Denny refuses to listen to this. He insists that Eve will get well and eventually come home. Eve’s parents think Denny is being unrealistic. They wanted Zoe to stay with them because these might be the last few months she would share with her mother.

Denny must approach Zoe on the subject of staying with her grandparents. He has told his in-laws that the decision as to where she will stay will be up to Zoe. Eve’s parents find this very disturbing, to allow a five-year-old to make such an important decision. Denny presents the idea in a way that allows Zoe to think that she would stay with her mother until Eve recovers. Then they will all be together again. As Enzo witnesses the love between Denny and Zoe, he questions whether he could ever understand all the intricate complications involved in being human.

As night approaches, Denny insists on staying at his in-laws’ home, too. If Eve and Zoe are going to be living there, he does not think he should go to his own house. But Eve tells him to go home. She says she does not want him to be constantly reminded of how sick she is. She wants him to remember her as she was before the accident. Although Enzo completely understands Eve’s reasoning, Denny has trouble comprehending Eve’s needs. He tells Eve that he does not see her as being sick; he sees her as he has always imagined her—as the woman he fell in love with. But in the end Denny gives in. He also agrees that Enzo can stay because Eve asks if she can have Enzo for the night.

Enzo is not sure why Eve needs him, but through the night she continually asks Enzo to protect her. She does not want Death to take her that night. She tells Enzo that she feels afraid and asks that he keep Death away. In the morning, before Denny comes to take Enzo home, Eve thanks Enzo for saving her.

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