Summary: Chapter 24

A month later, Aza sees on the news that Russell’s body was found. Aza texts Davis to let him know that she and Daisy did not tip off the police. Davis responds that he knows it wasn’t them. Davis and Noah had called in the tip anonymously so they could find out for sure the fate of their father. Aza feels that she should have waited to tell Davis about his father so he and his brother would have been able to continue living off of the family fortune before everything was left to tuatara research, but her mom reminds her to be kind to herself. Aza texts Davis to ask him to hang out some time, but her never responds. 

Months later, Davis appears at Aza’s house to deliver a gift. He tells her that he is moving to Colorado with Noah. Aza opens the gift after Davis leaves and finds a painting of spirals. Aza’s perspective shifts to her future self, talking about how her current self does not know that life goes on. She speaks of going to college, finding a job, and seeing the ups and downs of her life. She says that she, a singular person that does exist, will go on even if she does not know it yet.

Analysis: Chapter 24

In this final chapter, Aza begins to make sense of her role in her own life and retakes control of her thoughts. The painted gift from Davis symbolizes that she is strong enough to escape her thought spirals, and Aza is now also more receptive to change. This growth is illustrated by the fact that she takes her new medication regularly and has begun to accept that her illness is something she will live with for the rest of her life, but it will not define her. The callus on Aza’s finger has also healed, and its symbolism shifts in that she has regained some control over her thoughts. The obsessive tearing open and treating of the same wound has come to an end, and she can shift her focus to more positive and productive endeavors.

The theme of writing and language prevails throughout the novel, and this concept comes to a head in this final chapter. The narration shifts from the first person to the second person, and it becomes evident that this section is effectively written from the perspective of an adult Aza sometime in the future. Writing helps Aza realize that she will continue to exist and that she is worthy of all life has to offer. As Aza’s perspective shifts to her future self, it may be inferred that the book is the result of Aza’s third mental breakdown later in life. Her psychiatrist encouraged her to tell her story and sharing her struggles with others has made Aza stronger. The adult Aza leaves many details about her life ambiguous. But she knows for certain that while she will have mental health issues for the rest of her life, she will continue to work on herself and her friendships and relationships going forward. As Aza has continued to work on herself, she has incorporated writing into her toolbox to help her cope.