Study Guide

The Interestings Part 3: The Drama of the Gifted Child / Chapter 18

By Meg Wolitzer

Part 3: The Drama of the Gifted Child / Chapter 18

  • The first campers start to arrive and Jules immediately feels old.
  • They make it through the first hurdle: getting the parents to leave.
  • Manny and Edie have charged them with injecting new life into the camp without bringing in commercial elements.
  • Not surprisingly, no one really cares that Jules used to be a camper there. Well, except Jules.
  • Dennis seems to be taking well to the camp atmosphere, and being out of the city and away from constant financial trouble helps them both.
  • Jules has a hard time remembering that she's not a camper; Dennis, however, thinks she probably likes to be away from those teepees now and living in a real house.
  • Jules and Dennis tentatively talk about the first day and how it went.
  • Then they give up on talking about it and seek comfort in the familiar act of sex.
  • Jules thinks of her mom and wonders how she lived without finding a new partner for so long.
  • Dennis asks her if she's happy, which is really all he wants.
  • Jules is really distracted during sex, thinking about the scene like she's standing outside it—she doesn't know if she's actually happy.
  • The next morning, everything is still running smoothly.
  • A couple weeks later, Dennis asks if Jules is still happy.
  • Jules doesn't really answer the question, though… again.
  • They walk to the nearby town and sit down with some coffee when the phone rings: The generator went out at camp.
  • They realize they can't sit and do nothing, and also that every day brings a new problem.
  • One of the campers is an anorexic dancer with a crush on a counselor who worries that the nurse will make her leave if she doesn't eat more.
  • Jules tries to bond with the girls in their teepees but it's just awkward because she's old.
  • She quickly realizes that the job is way less creative than she thought it would be—they have to worry about a bunch of boring stuff like grocery deliveries.
  • She thinks that the Wunderlichs were all about curating people and she doesn't want to be a curator.