Whether he spoke the truth or not, he thought he could make her feel better, and he really, really wanted to.
But it wasn’t what she needed. Her need was as big as the stars, and he was down there on the beach, so quiet she could hardly hear him.
After Bridget and Eric have an intense physical encounter that leaves Bridget confused and sad, Eric tries to comfort her. However, as we see from this quotation at the end of chapter 22, his words don’t help Bridget at all. Bridget, who has been unstoppable and energetic all summer, is laid low by her confusing experience with Eric. She had pursued him relentlessly, only encouraged by his resistance and refusals. When he finally gives in to her, she is suddenly left with a perplexing jumble of feelings, and she feels alone and scared. Eric isn’t a bad guy, and he does his best to say the right things, to make Bridget feel good about herself and to ease the pain he’s causing her by yielding to the age difference between them. What he says is kind, and Bridget recognizes how desperately he wants to soothe her. However, she is unable to be soothed. Bridget has high highs but also very low lows, and she is in an unreachable place right now. What she needs as far as comfort or help goes is “as big as the stars,” far beyond what Eric’s words can deliver. For all his good intentions, his words have absolutely no effect. This quotation shows the depth of Bridget’s emotions, and the scary consequences she faces for pushing herself far beyond her comfort zone.