Study Guide

The Interestings Chapter 14

By Meg Wolitzer

Chapter 14

  • We're around the time of Mo's diagnosis again and Ash is making everyone go on vacation.
  • Ethan still hasn't adjusted to Mo's diagnosis and is extremely angry, so he spends most of his time at the studio now, which is officially called the Animation Shed.
  • Ash insists on this vacation to help Mo bond.
  • Professionally, Ash has been successful as an artistic director at Open Hand, and is producing plays by minority and female playwrights.
  • She's bugged by her reviews, though, which always mention her marriage and her looks.
  • While on the vacation, Ethan misses vacationing with Jules when they were all childless.
  • Ethan doesn't know if he loves Mo.
  • Ethan writes to Jules and Dennis from their trip and jokes about leaving Mo behind.
  • He thinks about their situation and how he wanted to help them out—one time, he even offered when they were all out at a brunch.
  • Ash turns out to be an incredibly patient mother to Mo.
  • Ethan watches his daughter draw a very good copy of a Figland character and feels sorry that she has talent.
  • At the brunch, Dennis refuses Ethan's help, but Ash and Ethan keep trying to talk their friends into it. Needless to say, it ends up being a really embarrassing brunch for everyone.
  • Back on the Indonesia trip, Ethan runs into a random businessman who recognizes him.
  • The man says something vague about being glad that Ethan's not checking out the child labor scene.
  • Ethan, of course, decides to check out the child labor scene.
  • He visits the Leena Toys Factory where his Figland merchandise is made and nothing seems particularly bad.
  • Ethan leaves the factory and spends some time alone, recalling the day he lied to his wife about being able to join her for Mo's diagnosis.
  • He told her he had to be in Los Angeles but instead rented a hotel room and stayed there for a few days. Yikes.
  • Currently in Indonesia, Ethan decides to buy a pinwheel for Mo.
  • Ethan stops for a meal and thinks about Goodman and the Günter Grass book he brought with him to read.
  • Suddenly Ethan decides to go back to the factory without telling anyone.
  • When he gets there he realizes that the whole visit that morning was a sham and there are kids slaving away in that factory.
  • Ethan decides to stop being detached and empty.
  • When they return from the trip, Ethan goes to see Jules while Dennis is asleep.
  • They eat brioches and Ethan tells her about the factory visit, then Jules briefly talks about Dennis and how he used to be full of energy and is now just in slow-motion.
  • Rory comes out and brags to Ethan about being able to karate chop wood.
  • Ethan wraps up, and again talks about helping them out before he leaves.
  • Jules asks why she never gets to help him out, so he tells her about the lie he told Ash—Jules sort of laughs, though, because she can't imagine him doing anything that bad.
  • Ethan confesses he's having a bad moment professionally with some poor decisions; he also tells her he's not sure he loves Mo.
  • Jules advises him to fake it until he feels it.
  • Ethan then segues to the part where he gives her a check and makes her take it.
  • The check is for one hundred grand (yup—you read that right) and Ethan demands that they use it to get out of their tiny apartment.
  • He leaves and Rory wakes up Dennis by telling him about the money.
  • Dennis is angry and tells Jules she can leave the marriage if she wants.
  • He's really upset because he knows he used to be fun before the depression and can't seem to find his way back; he's afraid he's going to lose everything.
  • Jules convinces him that they have to get out of their tiny place and start over with Ethan's gift.
  • Rory reappears and demands that Jules kiss Dennis. She complies and the future is decided.