Anxious People

Anxious People

by

Fredrik Backman

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Anxious People: Chapter 73 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s now spring, and Jack gets out of an elevator, very confused. Earlier, he got a letter with this address, a floor, and an office number on it. There was also a photo of the bridge and another sealed envelope with a name on it. Zara recognized Jack when she saw him at the police station—and she suspected that, like her, he’d been reliving those moments on the bridge over and over again.
While Zara carried around the man’s letter for a decade and allowed it to trap her until she let it go, she hopes she can use a letter of her own to similarly free Jack. This suggests that Zara now realizes how futile it is to dwell on the one person she (and Jack) wasn’t able to help. Rather, she’s decided it’s better to try to, as Jack’s mom would say, help who she can.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Assumptions  Theme Icon
Jack knocks on the office door. It’s been 10 years since a man jumped and a young woman didn’t. As soon as Nadia opens the door, Jack recognizes her and “his heart turns to confetti.” Leaning against the doorframe, he hands her the envelope with the bridge photo and her office address, and the other envelope with her name on it. Inside Nadia’s envelope is a note from Zara: “You saved yourself. He just happened to be there.”
Zara effectively frees both Jack and Nadia by bringing them together at last. Now, Jack can see how much his choice to save Nadia has improved her life, and Nadia finally solves what’s been a huge mystery in her life up to this point. Zara also reminds Nadia that Nadia is the one in control, and she always has been. Jack might’ve pulled her back, but the fact remains that Nadia had the choice to jump—and she didn’t.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
Nadia loses her balance and Jack catches her. She asks if he’s the one who saved her and then sinks into her chair. Nadia has spent years wondering who saved her, and now she doesn’t know what to say. Jack looks around the office, noticing a photo of Nadia with a group of kids. They’re all wearing T-shirts for a charitable organization that funds camps for kids who have lost family members to suicide. Nadia goes every year. She doesn’t know yet that Zara has just donated most of her fortune to the charity. Instead, she and Jack sit across from each other and smile. In ten years, they’ll tell people how it felt to smile at each other the first time.
The novel’s final passage shows that Nadia, Jack, and Zara have now all found their way. Zara has turned to philanthropy in addition to bringing Jack and Nadia together, suggesting that she now sees the value in funding and supporting mental health outreach efforts. The implication is that Jack and Nadia will go on to enjoy a long romantic relationship together, thanks to Zara’s letter—and really, thanks to the bridge. The bridge, in the novel’s final chapter, brings these two final people together, highlighting the many different ways that people can connect over something as ordinary as a bridge and as tragic as a man’s death.
Themes
Mental Health and Connection Theme Icon
The Modern World Theme Icon