"[I]t is much easier to be brave if you do not know everything. And so your mama does not know everything. Neither do I. We know only what we need to know."
In this quotation, Uncle Henrik is explaining to Annemarie why he and Mrs. Johansen lied about Great-aunt Birte. For the first time, Annemarie is being told that knowing everything is not always good. To Annemarie, knowing more information means being more adult. When she is deceived, Annemarie gets upset about the lie, but also because she feels she is not being treated like an adult. Uncle Henrik helps her to see that in this case, knowing too much can be a disadvantage. It can even impede bravery. Though she does not yet see just how true Henrik's explanation is, Annemarie notices, over the course of the night, exactly what he means. She also begins to form a new picture of what it means to be brave. To Annemarie, bravery is one of the most important traits a person can have. All the adults she loves and respects are brave. What Annemarie comes to discover (with the help of Uncle Henrik) is that bravery is not necessarily about facing everything at once.