There was point in this book that I almost started crying. On page 243 when Brad is talking to Harv and Nell about runaway gang members and Harv just goes "'Nuff said" and runs off, I literally was tearing up.
I grew up with two older brother and I always felt like they would give me the moon if they could, and I feel like Harv attempts to do this for Nell. It is always hard, from my observation, for an older sibling to observe a younger sibling being hurt or not being taken care of correctly. I think this is a focal part of Harv and Nell's relationship. Harv is always the protector and it's basically his only redeeming quality.
When Harv leaves Nell I think that is was such an important thing that HAD to happen. As someone who always had big brothers looking out for her, I did not really learn to stand up for myself until I did not have my brothers there to do it for me. And I think that this is something that Nell learned quickly.
I think that hiding behind Harv was always something that Nell clung to, but without him she flourished. When Harv was sleeping Nell was more than capable of protecting herself from a stranger, but she couldn't when Harv was around/awake.
I just love their relationship so much. I love that Harv abandoned feeling safe and a having a good life just so Nell could have it for herself.