Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 23

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 23

  • At the hotel, Wendy gets her very own room and orders some room service as soon as she can. She also takes a nice bath and reads some more of her book.
  • She gets super upset when she realizes that John Henry—the character in the book who reminds her of Louie—dies. Then she starts to cry.
  • It's late at night, but Wendy decides to get dressed and go for a walk even though she knows that her mother would not approve of her wandering around alone.
  • She starts off in a nice neighborhood near the hotel, but soon she finds that she's wandered into sketchier parts.
  • Eventually, she comes across a group of boys skateboarding and stops to watch. As she does so, she thinks about how she got into a fight with her mom recently and instead of being mad, her mom slipped a note under her door at night.
  • The note said that her mom was sorry that she didn't understand how Wendy was feeling but that she knew that being thirteen was hard and that it would pass. And she also said that she loved Wendy madly forever.
  • Wendy goes to the pier and one of the skateboarders—a boy named Todd—comes up to her and asks her what she's up to. She says that she's here visiting, and he says that he's a wanderer, a street kid.
  • Then she finds herself telling him her whole story, about how she's been sent out here to live with Garrett and how she's been skipping school. He says that he's been wandering around looking for his brother all this time. His brother took off two years ago.