Study Guide

Serena Chapter 32

By Ron Rash

Chapter 32

  • That night, Pemberton wakes up with flames and smoke all around him.
  • He wakes Serena and tries to figure out how to get out of the burning house but he can barely see in front of him because of the smoke.
  • Coughing and eyes watering, he throws a blanket around himself and his wife and tries to make his way to the bedroom window.
  • He can't see it but guesses correctly where it is. Phew.
  • When they get to the window, he crashes through it and he and Serena hold onto one another as they plummet to the ground.
  • Everyone is up trying to put out the fire by this point. Pemberton thinks back to what Serena said about their sex life once: She described it as "a kind of annihilation," and this feels like just that.
  • As Meeks rushes off to get a doctor, Pemberton sees a man standing in the distance with a gallon of kerosene.
  • McDowell, he thinks to himself. He doesn't need to see the guy's face to know he's right.