The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 28
Summary

Nathan wakes up, changes into his father’s old suit, which fits surprisingly well, and makes his way to the living room. He stares at Cameron’s painting of the stockman’s grave for a brief moment before Liz shows up, dressed in black. Bub shows up next, clearly in an intoxicated state. Finally, Xander joins them dressed in Cameron’s only suit. The funeral director arrives with the neighbors and the service starts. Nathan muses on the excellent turnout, and he recognizes only about a third of the attendants. Lo and Sophie are invited to plant a small seedling at the head of the grave, but they start crying instead and have to be ushered back to the house by Ilse. Liz then picks up the trowel and plants the seedling after digging a hole at the grave. Following this symbolic act, Nathan escorts Liz towards the house and leaves the neighbors behind.

Analysis

Nathan’s headache, which he experienced upon waking up, is a reminder of the environmental conditions in outback Queensland, and the potential effects of the sun on those who do not drink enough water. As he wears his father’s old suit, Bub realizes that Nathan looks exactly like their father, a thought that aggravates Nathan due to the poor relationship he had with his father. He also notices that Cameron’s suit fits his son well but as he attempts to talk to him, Xander cuts him off and begins asking Bub about Cameron’s painting. Lo and Sophie’s reaction, when asked to plant the seedling, shows that it finally dawned on them that, just like their grandfather, Cameron was never coming back (Harper 155).

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