SettingThe setting is this story is a suburb of a large city. The main character lives in a rather rundown section of town but his clues take him all over the suburbs from even more ramshackle houses to the mansions of the affluent. Set in a present day city there is a typical amount of crime and poverty on the streets, which sometimes contributes to a rather depressing mood as Ed tries to break out of his spiraling life. However, from his close observation of his subjects Ed gets to see the darker and gloomier side of the affluent areas while getting to notice the small simple joys of the poor workers.
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Ed is constantly trying to become more than some dropout failure. He wants to do more and not live and
die without doing something meaningful. He starts to realize what he can do once he starts receiving the
cards but his self doubt is still there until the final card. He finally realizes that even if he doesn't change the
whole world or become famous he can make a difference in few lives forever. The gratitude he gets
from those he helps shows him what really matters in this life, the people near you.

Audrey is battling against her inability to trust and love. Her father and mother both died or left her while
she was young and her first love broke her heart and she promised that she would never love again
She is afraid of Ed and doesn't appreciate the fact that he loves her because it makes it all the harder
for her not to love him.

The final major conflict is Marv's conflict with his past. He was the father of his girlfriends child, and in shame
his girlfriends dad moved her away to avoid him. He has been constantly saving so that he can help provide
for the childs' future. When Ed gets Marv as one of the names on the card he is able to help him
confront his past and the father and Marv finally gets to see his child and reunite with his girlfriend,
if only for a few minutes.
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A major symbol in the story were the cards, they represented something that Ed was familiar with because
he was always playing cards just like he was always seeing some of the people he helped. However
the writing was unfamiliar just like looking at those same people as people that he could help instead
of random strangers or unmotivated layabouts.

The theme in this book is that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference to other people. You
never know how what you do will affect other people or what problems they are struggling with. Small acts
of kindness can do a lot. Try to understand the people around you and what they are going through.

Lessons Learned
While in this book the problems with each character are rather easy to decipher, the lesson learned is that
a small act of kindness can change a persons day and perhaps even their life. For one of the cards all Ed
did was tell her to be herself while she ran and that changed the way she saw running and she was one of
the most grateful of his cards.