Part 5, Chapters 1-3 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 611

Iris continues her memoir, focusing on the first couple of years after her mother’s death. During this time, her connection with Laura became so strong that Reenie suggested that it was not good for either of them to spend so much time together. Laura slowed Iris’s maturity, Reenie said, and Iris’s influence made Laura grow up too fast. However, no one did anything to separate the two girls. They were not allowed to attend school because that was meant only for the workers’ children. They were above that, their father believed. Instead, private tutors educated them.

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Also during this time, Iris’s father became involved with another woman. Mr. Chase was inspired to have a memorial built for the soldiers who had fought in the war. He did not want the citizens of his town to forget the soldiers’ sacrifices. There was to be a statue created that would be called the Weary Soldier. The statue would be of a soldier worn down by war as opposed to looking victorious, as many of the townspeople had suggested. For this endeavor, Mr. Chase chose a female artist who had applied. His choice caused another controversy. Others involved in the project believed a male artist would have been more appropriate.

The artist’s name was Callista Fitzsimmons. She was a redhead who often wore slacks instead of skirts. She frequently met with Mr. Chase at his home. Eventually their meetings were extended, and Callista spent many nights at the Chase home. Her stays became extended over time. Supposedly this was due to her work and her need to confer with Iris’s father. However, Callista’s visits began to include picnics and even trips to other cities, which many times required that Mr. Chase and Callista spend several nights away.

Reenie did not approve of Callista’s behavior. She thought Callista was interested in Mr. Chase because of his money. Reenie also did not like the way Callista dressed or Callista’s friends, who were invited to stay at the house from time to time. When Callista took to swimming nude in the pond on the estate, Reenie was furious.

As Callista explained, she was making Mr. Chase feel better. She was lifting his spirits, taking his mind off his sorrows—she was good for him. Iris and...

(The entire section contains 611 words.)

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