Study Guide

Serena Chapter 36

By Ron Rash

Chapter 36

  • It's the night of Pemberton's thirtieth birthday party and Serena has been busy making plans.
  • All of their friends are coming, and this might be the last time they see one another since the Pembertons are moving soon.
  • Before the dinner party, Pemberton asks Serena where Galloway's been the last few days but she's coy in response.
  • Then he tells Serena he wishes for nothing more; he has everything he could ever want. She asks him if he's sure.
  • He's not sure what she means but the guests begin arriving before he can push for more information.
  • Everyone eats a large meal at their table cut from one of their chestnut trees.
  • Galloway enters with a birthday surprise: He's tracked the mountain lion that Pemberton's wanted to hunt and they can go catch it together tomorrow. Galloway knows exactly where it is—that's where he's been the past couple of days.
  • There are toasts, jokes, and lots of drinking, especially on Pemberton's part.
  • Before long, Galloway has another birthday surprise—this one involves his mom.
  • She is ready to tell everyone their futures.
  • When Pemberton asks how he'll die, she replies that nothing can kill a man as great as him.
  • Okay, okay, he knows Serena put the old lady up to this.
  • He gets a gun for his birthday and is so drunk he imagines the room moving backward and forward, swaying like the wind.