Study Guide

The Interestings Chapter 20

By Meg Wolitzer

Chapter 20

  • And we're back to Spirit-in-the-Woods, where nothing horrible has happened.
  • There are a few incidents, like people meeting hikers in the woods, and the anorexic dancer has worsened and a doctor is called in to consult. They agree she should go home.
  • The teens turn it into a huge drama and the dancer feels it's unfair to send her home.
  • That night, Jules and Dennis hear noise outside and one of the counselors calls saying something happened to the llamas.
  • Everyone goes out to search and the llamas are found with signs around their necks protesting the dancer's fate.
  • Then they all realize the dancer is missing, too, and things get frantic until the counselor she has a crush on finally convinces her to stop hiding.
  • The dancer apologizes for the llama thing and then there's a sad moment where it's clear she was just happy at the camp.
  • After the dancer goes home and normal camp life resumes, some campers mention they saw a man peeing on a tree.
  • Jules and Dennis of course have to go check it out, so they tromp around the woods.
  • They split up, and Jules runs into the hiker. She suddenly feels afraid because he seems unstable.
  • A second guy comes out from the trees and… it's Goodman. What is with that guy?
  • They have a weird exchange as Jules tries to figure out why he's here.
  • Goodman still acts like he's handsome, but is really gross and old now; apparently he is here so that he can figure out how to get Ash to help him.
  • The other guy barely knows Goodman—apparently Goodman scooped him up in town with the promise of something to eat.
  • Dennis comes crashing through the bushes and demands to know what's going on.
  • Jules introduces Goodman, and Dennis tells him to leave.
  • Dennis threatens to turn him in if he doesn't leave right away, and Goodman exits quickly.
  • Dennis starts talking to the other guy and finds out he was a patient at the same hospital Dennis stayed at—the guy was picked up by Goodman at a bus stop after leaving the hospital because he didn't think it was helping.
  • Dennis takes him back to the hospital and sends Jules back to camp.
  • Jules immediately calls Ash and blurts out the news.
  • There's some static weirdness and then Ash tells Jules that she was on speakerphone and Ethan is there. Oops.
  • Jules rushes back to camp and endures the next day or two until Ash calls.
  • Ash and Ethan split after a huge fight that day—the busted out every single thing they hated about each other during it, and that was the end of things for them.
  • When Ash is back home, she sort of falls off the map for a while.
  • Dennis tells Jules to call Ethan one night because she needs to talk to him and there's no way he's angry with her.
  • The summer is winding down and Manny and Edie come to check out the camp.
  • Everything looks great to them and they offer a five-year contract to Jules and Dennis.
  • This pleases Dennis because he finally feels he's good at something and being praised for it; Jules, however, is no longer interested.
  • Dennis calls her out on it later and says she's more interested in her friends than in their own lives.
  • He also accuses her of thinking that she would get to be the teen version of herself again and everyone would pay attention to her.
  • She argues that she broke up her friends' marriage and is allowed to be upset, but Dennis counters by saying they broke it off because of them and now she's just moping around instead of contributing to running the camp.
  • He really gets into it then, flat-out telling Jules that her friends are stuck-up and feel like the rules don't apply to them and really aren't all that interesting.
  • He says she's obsessed with specialness and that she doesn't treat him like he's special. We say, in case you're wondering, he's not wrong.
  • They sleep in separate places that night, and Jules has to tell the Wunderlichs that they're not going to accept the offer.