Skip over navigation

A Million Little Pieces

James Frey

From James finding out his parents are coming to visit to his second secret meeting with Lilly

From the introduction of Matty to the first secret meeting with Lilly

From James finding out his parents are coming to visit to his second secret meeting with Lilly, page 2

page 1 of 2

Summary

James has dreams in which he’s abusing drugs and alcohol. He revisits some of the places he’s been while on drugs. He wakes each time struggling to remember the good in his life and reminds himself that he has more than he needs. In the shower, he observes that he’s becoming more of a human being. He tries once more to look himself in the eyes and finally succeeds, noting that they are pale green. He goes downstairs to smoke a cigarette and have a cup of coffee and sees Leonard coming back from a jog. Leonard asks James about Lilly. James asks how he knows. Leonard says Ted told him. James sits with his friends at breakfast and talks about the upcoming Heavyweight Championship. Matty knows both the fighters.

Joanne and James talk about the Twelve Step program. James still refuses to follow it. He hints that he does not like churches and priests. Joanne insists that the program is not about God. At lunch with Leonard and the usual crowd, Bobby, the new man, starts talking trash about Mikey the Nose. Leonard doesn’t make a move, he just watches Bobby more closely. After lunch Ken approaches James and asks him to sign a release so that the facility can start helping him to resolve his legal issues (James is wanted in three states).

Ken also tells James that he’s worried about James hanging out with Leonard. He tells James that Leonard is involved in the mob and that being involved with Leonard could hurt James somehow. James tells Ken that Leonard is a trustworthy friend and that he does not intend to stop being friends with him. Against his wishes, James’s parents have enrolled in the family program and are arriving from Japan the next day. James is livid but controls it. He leaves Ken and goes outside to think.

He meets Lilly at their appointed place and time and tells her about the girl from his past. He tells her that he fell in love with her but that when they were at a bar together he was arrested by the local police and the FBI for dealing drugs. The girl from James’s past told him that she wanted him to be who he is around her and not some person that she heard bad stories about. James agreed to try, and they got together. Lilly says that she wishes she were the girl, because she wants someone to love her. James tells Lilly that his parents are coming tomorrow and that he doesn’t want them to. She tells him he’s lucky to have parents who care enough to come.

James goes back to his room to find Miles sobbing. He goes back out again. At dinner Leonard tells James that members of the facility staff have been asking him about his relationship with James and James’s relationship with Lilly. James walks back and watches TV. The show is about a group of ER doctors treating a heroin addict. James goes back to his room, and Miles is still crying. James leaves and spends the rest of the night watching TV.

Analysis

As life settles into a routine for James at the facility, he begins to explore more spiritual questions and seek deeper answers than he’s pursued before. Joanne’s conversation with James sets the stage for him to question the idea of a faith and a God who may be able to help him through the process of healing. But it’s not until Ken reveals that his parents are arriving that James really feels a need to find a calm place. In his walk outside just before he meets Lilly, he questions nature and life and all that is around him. He wonders if it is a God-given landscape, or if it is simply something that is. He wonders if he can label the beat of his heart, the feelings that are within him, as being God-given.

More Help

Previous Next

Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!

Follow Us