Study Guide

The Interestings Chapter 13

By Meg Wolitzer

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Chapter 13

  • As we've come to expect, we're moving a few years forward again here—don't worry, we're sure we'll hop back in time again, though, soon. It's how this book rools.
  • This time, Jules is pregnant and she and Ash are deciding on baby names.
  • Dennis doesn't care what she names the baby because he's spiraling further into depression after his stroke—apparently the "better" medications aren't working.
  • Recap: Dennis went back to work after the stroke but then lost his job.
  • He made a shocked exclamation at a mass in a woman's liver and then started to cry at the thought that she would probably die, a reaction which freaked the woman out and resulted in Dennis losing his uniform.
  • The doctor still refuses to put Dennis back on the MAOI—his original meds—so he doesn't get any better. Adding to the bummers for Dennis is the fact that Jules isn't particularly patient with him.
  • Ash and Jules get together to talk about the Dennis debacle and Jules feels guilty that she's telling anyone.
  • At home, Jules talks about how well her patients are doing, which only makes Dennis feel worse.
  • When his parents visit, they blame Jules for his depression.
  • Jules is angry because neither she nor Dennis came from families that felt good like the Wolfs.
  • One day Jules realize she's pregnant because she has electric nipples. Okay…
  • She thinks back to when she could have gotten pregnant and decides it must have been the night they went with Ash and Ethan to the opening of an exhibit for Figland, and when they got home Jules finally gave up on envy (for the evening, mind you). They didn't use a condom, so that must be when she got knocked up.
  • We move forward to three months after Jules's daughter is born, when Ash is having her first kid, too.
  • Ash comes over with the baby one day and is super tense—Jules correctly anticipates a Goodman conversation.
  • Ash tells her that her parents asked to transfer the "responsibility" of caring for Goodman over to her because she and Ethan have so much money.
  • Jules asks how she's going to do that since she's never told Ethan about Goodman, and Ash basically says she's going to skim money out of their accounts without Ethan noticing.
  • Moving forward, Ash and Jules are letting their kids play in the enormous playroom in the Figman-Wolf house.
  • Ash has had another kid—a son who is a difficult child at two years old.
  • Their daughters are extremely different but get along for their moms; Aurora Jacobson-Boyd plays in the ball pit while Larkin Figman reads a chapter book.
  • Larkin is apparently perfect except for inheriting Ethan's eczema.
  • Dennis is now struggling with "low-level depression," so he's not breaking down but he's not happy.
  • He tried to find work after losing his job, but his boss promised to write a terrible reference.
  • Jules recalls what it was like when she found out she was pregnant.
  • They worried about the baby being healthy and being around a depressed father.
  • Jules insisted she needed Dennis there while she had an ultrasound. During the ultrasound, Dennis becomes fascinated by the image of the baby, and accidentally reveals the sex.
  • When she's born, they agree that Jules will work and Dennis will stay home to take care of the baby.
  • This works out well for Dennis, who doesn't have to be around adult anxieties all day.
  • When Aurora goes to kindergarten, she decides she's had enough girly junk and becomes Rory; Larkin, of course, is a miniature princess.
  • It looks like Rory's inherited the envy gene from Jules, but instead of envying her friends, Rory envies boys. Which, of course, makes Jules envy Ethan and Ash.
  • Jules makes herself feel better by thinking about how Ethan and Ash have a huge secret between them.
  • There's a weird moment where Jules recalls running into Dr. Spilka, Goodman's old shrink.
  • She asks him if he remembers Goodman and whether he was guilty or not.
  • Spilka says he was guilty… and then that he murdered "that girl" (13.139). Say what?
  • Jules tries to convince him he's confusing Goodman with a different rapist, but Spilka denies it.
  • Spilka has dementia, and he just keeps repeating "he killed her" (13.145), which is a really creepy thing to say over and over again.

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