Chapter 10 Summary

The tenth chapter, “News of the World,” begins with Cal’s relationship with Julie. Cal sees Julie's work and admires it. Julie photographs factories, and Cal professes a natural appreciation of factories because she is from Detroit. Julie shoots factories used in the Holocaust and worries that her work will be seen as cliché. Cal reassures Julie that her work is good and a natural extension of her body of work. They kiss, and Julie asks if Cal is a gay man. Julie explains that she has been approached by five closeted homosexuals. Cal reassures Julie that she is not gay, and they kiss again.

Meanwhile, Milton’s life in the navy is not what he had expected. He hoped to get away from his memories of Tessie but instead finds himself thinking of her all the time because of the routines of the military. He is constantly standing in line, waiting, and remembering Tessie. The army is preparing for invasion and Milton begins to ponder ways to get out of the line of fire. He takes a test to be admitted to college, but does not get the results back. Instead, he is told that he will work as a signalman, a job with a life expectancy of less than a minute.

Back in Detroit, Desdemona reads her son’s letters, which he tries to write in Greek. The military censors them and most of the letters have many holes in them. Still, she knows that Milton is about to be sent to war. Desdemona goes to the church and prays to St. Christopher to protect her son. If he does, she will force him to return to Greece to rebuild the church in Bithynios.

Tessie, meanwhile, spends much of her time at the movies. She and Mike are engaged, and they exchange letters now that Mike is in seminary. He scolds Tessie for not volunteering more time at the Red Cross to help with the war effort. Tessie begins lying in her letters, claiming to volunteer. To keep from seeming boisterous, she always praises Zoë for the latter’s humanitarian efforts. In reality, Tessie continues to go to the movies and as she watches the “News of the World,” she looks for Milton’s face. Eventually, she realizes that she loves him, not Mike. She obtains Desdemona's blessing because the latter does not believe that her son will survive the war.

Milton does not make the “News of the World,” but he is sent to war. Before he arrives with the invading fleet, however, he receives orders to return to America. His scored a ninety-eight on his test and is sent to the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Desdemona tells Milton that St. Christopher got him out of the war and that he must now rebuild the church. Though Milton immediately agrees to do it, he never fulfills his promise. Instead, he marries Tessie. At the wedding, Father Mike shows up and dances with Zoë.