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Anybody who can maintain the sense of humor Jamie does about losing all his toes and four of his fingers to frostbite in the North Sea is someone we'd love to be friends with: we completely get why he's Julie's favorite of her five brothers. Like Engel, Jamie is described through comparison with Julie, and we get the sense that he's there partly to console Maddie (and readers) for Julie's loss. Check it out:
But she'd never have doubted he was her best friend's brother. Same sleek fair hair, same small light build, same quick bewitching features with a faint hint of lunacy behind the bright eyes. (1.18.XI.43.77)
In terms of both looks and personality—note the "hint of lunacy"—Jamie reminds Maddie of Julie. He is the ideal elder brother figure for both Julie and Maddie: protective and concerned, but he also understands that even little sisters have to do what they have to do in wartime. He's cautious, but he doesn't try to stop either of them when they have a job to complete. And in the end, he is the pilot who picks Maddie up in France—his flight back to England with Maddie bookending Julie's flight out to France. Maddie tells us:
He just put his hand through the bulkhead, exactly as she'd done, and squeezed my shoulder. He has very strong fingers.
And he kept his hand there the whole way home, even when he was reading the map and giving me headings.
So I am not flying alone now after all. (2.25.76-78)
This is super sweet, right? Okay, more like bittersweet—Julie's dead, after all—but still. It's better than Maddie staying lonely. Beyond this exchange, Jamie gives Maddie someone to mourn with, someone else who will remember Julie as she was, and he also provides Maddie with the forgiveness she can't give herself. Yup—Jamie's a good guy to have around.