Study Guide

Angle of Repose Part 6, Chapter 1

By Wallace Stegner

Part 6, Chapter 1

Part VI: On the Bough

  • Holy smokes—Susan is finally hanging out with Thomas and Augusta. It's like a dream come true.
  • Susan is having the time of her life. It certainly helps that Thomas is showering her with praise for her "remarkable" skills as an artist and undeniable classiness (6.1.10).
  • After some prodding, Susan reveals that she's working on a novel set in Leadville. It's about the daughter of an evil business tycoon who falls in love with a ruggedly handsome mine engineer. Sounding familiar to you guys?
  • But, that engineer isn't based on Oliver—it's based on Frank. That's shady. Then, the shadiness levels go off the charts when Susan blushes at Augusta's assertion that Frank is in love with her.
  • The conversation then shifts to Oliver, although Susan feels like Augusta doesn't actually care. Turns out, ol' Oliver is in Boise, Idaho, laying low during a brutal winter.
  • The mood in the room has definitely shifted. Thomas loudly complains about being tired, so Susan gets up to leave. Before she does, however, Augusta pulls her aside for some real talk. Do you love Frank? Nope. Do you want the baby you're pregnant with? Yep.
  • Wait—what?
  • Turns out, Susan is indeed preggers, but she hasn't told Oliver. She doesn't want to put any undue pressure on him to "take any job that comes up" (6.1.67).
  • The two women share an emotional goodbye.