Study Guide

Nine Perfect Strangers Chapter 26

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Chapter 26

  • Napoleon is enjoying his tai chi practice on his fifth day at Tranquillum House.
  • Even though Masha has promised transformation, Napoleon is skeptical. His son’s death has totally transformed their lives. Maybe their family has had enough change for one lifetime.
  • Zach’s death has totally broken Heather. She had always been fragile, but Heather is just not the same person Napoleon married.
  • Napoleon thinks back to the day before Zach died. They’d spent a nice family day together, and then Napoleon had slept in. He’d hit the snooze button on his phone.
  • Heather was the one who found Zach. He’d hung himself in his room.
  • This is obviously awful. Terrible. Horrible. No good. But Napoleon told himself that he could not break. He had to stay strong for his family. And so he did.
  • He researched suicide, joined a support group, gave talks to students. Heather once sarcastically called it “his new hobby.”
  • But because of his research, Napoleon knew that suicide is often an impulsive decision.
  • And if he hadn’t hit the snooze button that morning, if he’d woken up his son and asked him to come paddling with him, well, then maybe Zach would still be alive.

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