Chapter 29 Summary

In the final chapter of She's Come Undone, Dolores and Thayer are in the waiting room of a doctor's office. Both are nervous. To cope, Dolores tries to remain perfectly still. Thayer, on the other hand, chatters incessantly. Dolores notices that the walls are painted mauve, a color psychologists have deemed "soothing." Dolores feels anything but soothed.

When the doctor finally comes in with a plain manila folder, he does not keep them in suspense. He apologizes and tells the couple, “The procedure was not successful.” The doctor goes into detail about what might have gone wrong, but Dolores cannot hear him: she is numb.

Having tried for two years to get pregnant the normal way, Dolores and Thayer turned to in vitro fertilization. Six eggs were implanted, but none of them “took.” The doctor begins talking about trying again, but both Thayer and Dolores know that a lack of money means that this chance was their one and only opportunity. Thayer tells her not to worry about money, but Dolores knows that is impossible. They both try to accept their reality.

Thayer wants to take Dolores on a short vacation so that they can reconnect as a couple. Dolores's friend from school, Allyson, and Thayer's son agree to take turns caring for Roberta while they are away.

The destination Thayer has chosen is a surprise. Dolores tries to guess, but he will not reveal his secret. After some time traveling, Dolores spies a highway sign that reads, “Cape Cod and East.” Thayer is taking her whale watching.

As the couple settle into their seaside hotel, Dolores finds it impossible to sleep. She switches on a late night movie. It is the documentary Woodstock. As she watches, the camera pans to a young couple and their toddler. There, in that teeming throng, Dolores is thrilled to see her old friends: Larry, Ruthie, and baby Tia. They made it after all.

The next day on the whale watching tour, the weather turns foul. The tour guide apologizes and says there is very little chance of seeing a whale that day. Thayer and the others go back inside, but Dolores hangs around. As she watches the dark water, it changes from gray to green, and then, unmistakeably, there is a huge circle of bubbles. The tail of the whale raises up and smacks the water. Dolores is drenched in salt water. She is “christened.”