Penny used to be a happy, carefree girl. Thirteen years earlier her Mum died leaving Penny, her younger brother Brad and her father Rodney as a tight family unit. Then Brad got killed. As the novel opens Penny is angry. She is angry with Brad for dying. She is angry with God for letting Brad die. And she is angry with Trevor for employing and encouraging Brad to pursue his dream. “Some days it felt as if anger would eat her up from the inside out.” Penny needs to let her anger go. She needs to take it to God so she can begin to live again.
Tied up with the theme of anger is that of guilt. Penny feels “guilty for being alive and having a future… she expected to pay a penalty for living on.” Penny does not believe she deserves happiness because she is still alive. How easy it is as a reader to empathise with Penny, one feels guilty when one smiles again after a loved one has passed. Penny needs to forgive the face in the mirror. She is tied to the past by her guilt. Again she needs to give her guilt to God in order to move on from her imprisonment in the past.