Eddie arrives in the valley as a little boy, and is part of the "second chance" for Amy that gives one of my books its title.
He's a tall, striking-looking young fellow, with red hair, blue eyes, and a lovable nature. He's always called Eddie within the family, and generally Ed by his friends as he grows up. His formal name is Edmund. Story-internal he's named after an uncle who died in infancy; story-external I gave him the name partly after Edmund of the Narnia books, and partly for the much-loved New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary. The latter has turned out to be particularly appropriate, as Eddie is something of an explorer (another E).
Life could have taken a very different turn for Eddie, as he came close to ending up in a boys' home. This would at best have been a spartan institution, and at worst a grim place indeed.
These boys are probably in one of the better homes; at the very least they appear to have plenty of fresh air:
|Boys outside the Mercy Jenkins Boys' Home, Eltham, Taranaki. Standish, R :Photographs of Eltham. Ref: 1/2-044821-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22758224|
Eddie has instead found himself with a very comfortable life and a loving family. I'm pleased to say that he's been brought up to appreciate his advantages.