Study Guide

You Should Have Known Chapter Twenty: A Couple of Missing Fingers

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

Chapter Twenty: A Couple of Missing Fingers

In this edition of the book, Chapter 20 is pages 350-365.

  • Next up on Grace's truth tour is a meeting with Robertson Sharp III, a.k.a. Jonathan's old boss. 
  • He tells her multiple times he probably shouldn't be meeting with her, but she must be going through an awful experience. 
  • Grace realizes things seem to be getting better, at least for Henry: He loves his school, has fun talking about anime and Tim Burton with his friends (#teentalk), and is almost ready for baseball tryouts. 
  • Dr. Sharp starts talking about Jonathan, and Grace has a hard time not defending him until she remembers that there's nothing left of the Jonathan she thought she knew.
  • Dr. Sharp says he didn't want to hire Jonathan, but the chief resident loved Jonathan's personality. "Personality can be the placebo" (20.353).
  • Patients always loved Jonathan because he was the only doctor who knew their names, and it was very comforting to have somebody with a strong personality in charge.
  • Dr. Sharp started to wonder if he'd been wrong, but after a few years, the staff started complaining. The nurses said Jonathan was arrogant and flirtatious.
  • "And I started to realize, here was a guy who didn't just behave differently to different people, he was a different person depending on who he was with" (20.356-357).
  • Dr. Sharp thinks Jonathan loved being at the center of such emotional situations. He's the first to call Jonathan a psychopath and says people always assume doctors are great humanitarians because they heal people, but that's not always true.
  • Grace says she thinks Jonathan did care about his patients, and Dr. Sharp says he definitely didn't care about his colleagues. He'd start gossip just because he was bored. What a team player.
  • "There were a lot of folks he didn't notice, but they still noticed him. They found him very interesting, watching him operate. And you know, it takes a lot of effort to hold up the mask he had" (20.359). 
  • Jonathan had been in trouble for affairs a few times, and Dr. Sharp always said it was none of his business but Jonathan needed to keep it out of the hospital.
  • True to his manipulative personality, Jonathan always had an excuse and tried to flatter Dr. Sharp into forgetting about it.
  • Dr. Sharp also reveals that Jonathan had a fling with Dr. Rena Chang—a.k.a. the resident he always trash-talked to Grace because she was too hippy-dippy—and after she left the hospital, Dr. Sharp heard she had a baby.
  • Grace excuses herself and runs to the bathroom for a minute to compose herself. 
  • When she returns, she asks Dr. Sharp about the disciplinary hearing. He tells her it was about his relationship with Malaga. Their obvious flirting was upsetting the nurses.
    Jonathan told him he was dealing with some things in therapy and "acting out," a term Grace knows he learned from her.
  • Jonathan and Dr. Waycaster—another doctor he bad-mouthed to Grace—got into a fight about it in the stairwell, and the hospital told him he could go to residential treatment if he wanted to keep his job. Jonathan refused.
  • Dr. Sharp reminisces about the "Best Doctors" article that highlighted Jonathan. Typically, reporters worked with the hospital, but their press office didn't know.
  • One of Jonathan's patients had an aunt who worked at the magazine. We're less than shocked to learn that their relationship was also over the line.
  • Grace feels nauseated and is amazed that she called this meeting herself.
  • Henry's going to a movie with Grandpa and Nana (Frederich and Eva), so Grace realizes she has a few hours to do whatever she wants, even go to "a place that made no sense" (20.365).
  • Ooh, such intrigue.

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