The protagonist in this novel is a nineteen year old cabdriver in a big city of Australia. His name is Ed Kennedy. Ed is what some may call, “your average Joe”, but he proves more than that in the story. Out of all of his siblings, Ed still lives in the town that he grew up in. Ed hasn’t quite opened his eyes to his future that he could potential have if he would just try. Ed lives a very simple life unlike his siblings who have high paying occupations. His family isn’t mentioned in great detail. His mother claims that Ed is a failure just like his dad who never accomplished anything in life, and died an alcoholic. “You’re just like him.” (Zusak, 39) is the response Ed’s mother gave him when Ed asked why she didn’t approve of him. Ed’s mother does love him, but does not love the fact that he is headed the same way in society as his father.
The beginning of the novel starts off with Ed and his friend Marv, going to the bank, but while they are at the bank a robbery is present. Ed is titled a hero in the newspaper the following day, because he stops the gunman in his tracks inadvertently when he decided to flee away. Ed is asked by the police to come to court to serve as a witness to the robbery. At the end of the trial, the gunman says this to Ed, “You’re a dead man” (Zusak, 39) Ed is quite frightened by this since the robber is only in jail for six months. Ed finally forgets about the saying until a few days later when he starts to receive playing cards in his mail. After Ed is crowned a local hero in the newspaper, his life starts to give him a range of feelings. He only receives the ace playing card in the four suites. Each card had a total of three titles, addresses or clues for Ed to help him find his recipients. He never learns who sends all the aces of each suit until the end, but each suit is symbolic to how Ed must help the people. For example, the people he met with the ace of diamonds symbolized the need to protect peole from physical or emotional harm. The order of the aces went diamonds, clubs, spades and then hearts. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Ed’s life is totally changed by the one day he thought he was just going to go to the bank.
1.If you were chosen by a random person to deliver messages to such strangers would you be willing to do it like Ed? Why or Why not?
2.Who do you believe is sending Ed the secret messages and why?