Study Guide

What I Saw and How I Lied Chapter 20

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Chapter 20

  • Evie runs down the streets, feeling completely miserable as she thinks about her parents fighting and the ugly thing that happened with the Graysons. It was so horrible to see that kind of bigotry firsthand.
  • She starts looking for Peter's convertible because she needs to find him. He's an adult, so maybe he can explain all of these bad things in life that are confusing her.
  • She finds him sitting outside a house with the windows boarded up. He tells her that it's because they turn off the electricity in the summers and that the windows are boarded up in case of hurricanes.
  • When he asks her why she's here, she tells him that it's because she just had to see him. Then she tells him how the Graysons got kicked out of the hotel, and how she doesn't understand how the manager could enjoy doing such a thing.
  • He tells her that he did bad things during the war too—and so did her dad. When she asks him to elaborate, he seems hesitant because she's just a kid, but then she tells him that she knows him well, and explains why.
  • After that, he seems to see her in a different light, as though she's an adult. He tells her that after the war, he and Joe found a warehouse in Salzburg filled with loot that was taken from Jewish people before they went into the concentration camps.
  • He and Joe stole stuff from it, including jewelry and this suitcase full of gold dust. Joe was supposed to go back to the States, convert it into cash, and then split it with Peter—but he never followed through on his end of the bargain.
  • That's why Peter has followed them here. He went over to their house in New York and Grandma Glad told him that they were vacationing in Palm Beach.
  • Evie sits there and absorbs all of this information for a moment. She looks at the gold bracelet on her wrist—realizing it belonged to some Jewish girl who was probably dead—and she thinks about how Margie made fun of Ruthie Kalman that day before she left for vacation.
  • She takes the bracelet off and tosses it away, and they both watch it fall into the pool. Then she tells him that she absolves him of his guilt, just like the priest does in church.
  • Peter tells her that she has true north—a real moral compass—and then kisses her. The kiss gets steamier and steamier (with tongue and everything), and he sits down on the chaise and has her straddle him.
  • Just as things are getting heated, Evie hears a voice call out her name—her mom is standing just a few feet away, looking furious. Someone's definitely getting grounded tonight.
  • She tells Evie to get into the car, even though Evie keeps protesting and saying that she loves him. Then Bev picks up an ashtray and throws it at them. It shatters into pieces and a piece of glass cuts Evie's forehead.
  • Once they're in the car together, her mom drives back toward the hotel and says that she's not going to tell Joe what happened—but that it must never happen again.

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