This is the final discussion post of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book  Read-Along hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings as part of the fall R.I.P. VII reading event.
The Graveyard Book is a middle grade book about a young boy named Nobody 'Bod' Owens who is being raised by the ghosts who live in a graveyard after his parents and sister were brutally murdered in their home. The loving Mr. and Mrs. Owens are Bod's adoptive ghost parents and Silas, who is neither living nor dead, is Bod's guardian. Each chapter of book is a short tale of its own, showing important experiences in Bod's life that shape him into the young man he is becoming.
CAUTION: This is a read-along discussion, so expect some spoilers in the post and comments. Please read at your own risk!
Chapter Seven: Every Man Jack
As suggested by the title of this chapter, this is the part of the story when Nobody Owens and the man named Jack finally come face to face after all these years since Jack murdered Bod's first family.
Bod's guardian Silas has been away for several weeks, much longer than he's ever been gone before which has everyone in the graveyard both concerned and annoyed. Bod is asking questions about the man who killed his family and it's clear he is angry and resentful towards this man who not only murdered his family but whose very existence has essentially imprisoned Bod to a life in the graveyard. As content that Bod is to live among his family of ghosts in the graveyard, he's getting restless being confined to the graveyard and longs to go out among the living.
The young girl named Scarlett whom Jack befriended years ago in the graveyard has moved back to the area. One day she takes the wrong bus home and finds herself at the gates of Bod's graveyard. Now young teens, Scarlett and Jack rekindle their friendship and are soon embroiled in a deceptive and nefarious plot involving the man named Jack. Fueled by his bitter anger at the men named Jack and through his fierce determination, bravery and resourcefulness, Bod overcomes his enemies once and for all. This battle against the Jacks has not come without a price, however, and the ending is a little bittersweet.
Chapter Eight: Leavings and Partings
In this final chapter, Bod prepares to leave the graveyard to live in the world of living. There are little telling signs indicating that Bod has outgrown his life in the graveyard, such as not being able to see as well in the dark anymore. Clearly the time has come for Nobody Owens to move on. He reminisces with his spirit friends about his life in the graveyard and has also learns more information regarding the Honour Guard and the group of men known as the Jacks of all Trades from Silas. Silas doesn't reveal too much, but it is enough for Bod for he knows he is safe in the world and that he may just see Silas again in the future. Bod says his final goodbyes and leaves the graveyard and starts his new life.
Despite The Graveyard Book's rather grim beginning involving the gruesome murders of an innocent family, the story is in actuality a lovely, albeit bittersweet, coming of age story of the smart and kind, young Nobody Owens. Bod has spent his young life treading the line between the worlds of the living and the dead. A life very different from that of a typical human boy, yet Bod has grown up to be a thoughtful, brave and generous soul who will most definitely live a good life among the living.
Thanks to Carl for hosting yet another great read-along! I can't wait to do another one.