Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 14

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 14

  • Wendy's never broken a lot of rules, but now she can't help herself—she just starts skipping school. The next day, she takes the bus into Sacramento instead of returning to the junior high, spending her whole day going to the mall and the gym and walking around. Then she goes home.
  • The next day, she takes Garrett's bike and rides around Davis to check out the university and go to the bookstore again. Alan sets aside a book he thought she'd like: A Member of the Wedding.
  • Then she lies to him and says that her little brother was picked to be the next Dalai Lama. Alan tells her that he has an autistic son who lives in a group home.
  • In the evenings, Garrett and Wendy eat TV dinners and listen to music. Sometimes they watch TV together, and every morning, Garrett drops her off at school. Wendy never goes inside, though; she just wanders around town.
  • She calls Josh one day and he asks her how things are going. They make small talk and neither of them mentions if there's any news about her mother.
  • Then she talks to Louie on the phone and he tells her that it's time for her to come home now. When she explains to him that she won't be coming back for a while, he starts to cry.
  • One weekend, Garrett says they're going to go visit his girlfriend, a woman named Carolyn. Carolyn apparently lives on a dirt road outside of town and sells cactus plants. How very California of her.
  • Carolyn is super nice and laid back, and Wendy says that she likes her when they drive back home. Then they rent another movie and watch it together.
  • Garrett admits that he feels bad that he hasn't been around enough as a father and that he hasn't been a great role model. Wendy says it's okay because she had her mom and Josh.