Study Guide

The Interestings Chapter 8

By Meg Wolitzer

Chapter 8

  • We open with Goodman sobbing in a holding cell.
  • Police guy/lawyer Dick Peddy tells the group to head home because Goodman's not getting out tonight; Ash sarcastically wishes everyone a happy new year.
  • The group is swarmed by reporters as they leave the station, but Betsy Wolf fends them off.
  • Ethan comforts Ash outside the station, then tells her to go home and sleep among her stuffed animal collection.
  • Apparently Ash has a bunch of weird stuffed animals.
  • Ethan "signs on" to take care of Ash, beginning their eventual relationship.
  • Jules comes up with a story for what happened between Cathy and Goodman: According to Dick Peddy, Cathy accused Goodman of rape because she was embarrassed.
  • Every time Jules goes to the Labyrinth now, the Wolfs are talking about money and the case. Boring.
  • Turns out the perfect Wolf family is actually getting in a bunch of fights over this, too.
  • Goodman's future college rejects him until his legal situation is "resolved favorably," so now there's nothing for Goodman to do except go to school and see a shrink.
  • Dick Peddy tried to convince Cathy's parents not to go to trial.
  • Ash asks Jules to talk to Cathy since they're all banned from contacting her, so Cathy and Jules meet up at a little cafe where Cathy drinks diet things with extra ice.
  • Jules notices that Cathy's once-perfect fingernails have been chewed down to nothing, a practice Jules identifies with because she used to chew on her hair when her father was dying.
  • We are told that eventually Jules will participate in a Take Back the Night March.
  • Cathy says her story is true, Jules says she believes both her and Goodman (huh?), and Cathy makes some true comments about Goodman's character.
  • Jules's dislike of her family gets found out and Cathy accuses her of fawning over the Wolf family.
  • As Cathy describes the rape in excruciating detail, Jules feels her pain—only briefly, though, because then she basically tells Cathy to get over it.
  • Somehow Jules thought she could convince Cathy to let this go, but Cathy isn't having it.
  • Of course, Jules's desire to solve the Cathy problem comes from wanting to be adored by Goodman and the Wolfs. Ugh.
  • In a completely stupid move, Jules asks if Cathy maybe misinterpreted being raped.
  • Cathy has had enough, calls Jules weak, and gets up to go.
  • Jules responds by telling Cathy that she's going to ruin Goodman's life, to which Cathy makes some very true points about her own life already being messed up by this and how if it had been a stranger they would have supported her.
  • And with that, someone finally calls out the privileged nature of this group of kids.
  • Cathy reveals that Ethan is the only one who has been contacting her to find out how she is.
  • She leaves, and Jules pays the tab before heading back to the Wolfs' apartment.
  • Jules tells Ash that Cathy should be more of a fake or practiced mess if she were lying, but Ash—who long ago decided in favor of her brother—isn't having it and tells Jules to leave.
  • Ethan checks in with Jules while she goes about her business back in Underhill.
  • Turns out Ash feels badly about making her leave, so Ethan works out a peace agreement between the two and Jules goes back to the Labyrinth.
  • Ethan still keeps in touch with Cathy, and refuses to let anyone tell him he can't.
  • Goodman spends the summer prepping with his lawyers until he's worn out.
  • Ash confesses to Jules that she's not sure whether her mom believes Goodman is innocent even though her mom is very vocal about it.
  • Because everyone knows Goodman, no one is concerned when he stops going to his therapist, but when Ash checks Goodman's room, it's obvious that he cleaned it before he left.
  • Goodman has bounced, fled along with some of his trust fund, his passport, and various other documents.
  • The Wolfs try calling Spirit-in-the-Woods to see if Goodman turned up there, but no luck.
  • Dick Peddy tells them that as long as Goodman shows up for a court date, his fleeing isn't a problem—but, of course, Goodman never shows.
  • This is all briefly a front-page news story until more interesting crimes pop up and people forget about Goodman.
  • Ash is taking Goodman's flight the hardest, since they were always close as siblings.
  • Jules finally invites Ash out to her house in Long Island and cleans up in a crazy way.
  • Suddenly Jules sees her mother's perspective on the way Jules loves another family instead of her own and very briefly feels ashamed.
  • Ash and Lois Jacobson get along swimmingly, and Jules is the only one uncomfortable with it; Jules makes all sorts of mean, sarcastic comments about the place she lives in.
  • Jules has a weird moment where she thinks about the way Ash smells and how people would want to drink in that smell from the girl.
  • Ash worries about how Goodman will make it because her strength is purpose and his is not.
  • Jules resets the house after Ash leaves.
  • No one hears from Goodman as the school year wraps up and the group (without Cathy and Goodman) goes to Spirit-in-the-Woods again.
  • The camp has changed and now this group is old compared to the rest.
  • Ash confesses that she secretly hopes one day Goodman will show up, and tells Jules about a fairy tale she's been keeping as a fantasy.
  • Everything at the camp is older, including Old Mo Templeton, if that's possible, and Ash and Jules start taking walks to be away from all the young campers.
  • One day Ash isn't around for a walk and later that night Jules finds out why—Ethan comes into the girls' teepee and climbs into Ash's bed.
  • Apparently Ethan and Ash have some sort of chemistry. Jules is appalled.