At the same time Lauren makes a dramatic discovery. Long ago, her parents and Holden's parents were good friends, and she and Holden played together until his diagnosis of autism, at which time Lauren's mother distanced herself from the friendship. Now Lauren's mom and her MLB baseball player father are trapped in an unhappy marriage and a life that is shallow and meaningless. Not until a tragedy takes place at the high school does Lauren take a public stand against the way the more popular privileged kids treat those who are different.
At the same time, Lauren continues to be a friend to Holden and in time their mothers realize that something special is happening. Hurts from the past are dealt with and all around Holden miracles begin to happen in various relationships. The greatest miracle is the change in Holden, himself, and everyone is stunned by the transformation they witness. Ultimately, the community comes to understand that many people walk around in a personal prison and that only by love and faith can the doors become unlocked, the way they dramatically do for Holden Harris.