Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 5, Chapter 1

By Wallace Stegner

Part 5, Chapter 1

Part V: Michoacán

  • We're going to start off this one with the quote that kicks off this chapter: "My mother died when I was two, my father was a silent and difficult man" (5.1.1). All righty then, Lyman.
  • Lyman's grandparents had a tense relationship when he was growing up: Grandma seemed like she was afraid of Grandpa. In fact, the only time he ever heard her laugh was when she had guests over.
  • Given that his grandpa pretty much ran Grass Valley at the time, Lyman lived a pretty easy life. Servants waited on his every need, and the whole town gave him respect.
  • One day, Lyman told his grandmother that he was writing a report on Mexico. She excitedly told him how much she loved it when she lived there, how it was her "Paris and [her] Rome" (5.1.18).
  • Lyman ends up using one of his grandmother's stories as the basis for the report, which gets her psyched beyond belief.
  • Seriously, Susan falls in love with Mexico as soon as she arrives. In fact, she begins sketching scenes furiously even before the train stops.
  • Susan and Oliver arrive in their new home in Morelia, Mexico. They're going to be staying with Don Gustavo Walkenhorst, a wealthy German who lives with his dead wife's sister, Emelita. They have a nice place, to say the least.
  • Oliver and Susan stand on the balcony and thank their lucky stars that they ended up here.