Summary and Analysis
Part 9: The Last Human Stranger:
The Ageless Brother
Liesel is almost 14 years old. She decides that, on this day, she will wash Frau Hermann's cookie plate and return it to her. She leaves it by the front door, knocks, and hides around the corner. She imagines her younger brother there, telling her that she's doing much better now. Then, she realizes that her brother will always be the same age, six years old. But he doesn't haunt her dreams anymore. Instead, she sees the ghosts in her room before she goes to bed, the ghosts of her brother, mother, Max, and Hans, and she listens to Rosa snore. In the mornings, she hears Rosa praying for both Hans and Hans Junior, for "all of them" to come back alive.
Liesel's brother continues to live on with her even though he no longer enters her dreams. She still often thinks of the dead, how they are unchanging in her mind, that Death halts people. This chapter also provides another look at an unguarded Rosa when she prays over the accordion; she hurts so much for her family and for those around her, and she puts her words to work in prayer, asking that they all return home safely.