The strange and complicated genealogy of Ida’s family reveals itself in the behavior of many members of her immediate family. Although Christine and Lee are raised as brother and sister, Christine acts like a member of an older generation, which, as Ida’s half-sister and cousin, she technically is. This difference can be seen in the way they behave—whereas Lee is childish and requires much attention, the young Christine is poised and confident. Even when they are older, Christine is mature enough to exercise some control over Lee’s life. Even though Christine and Lee live their lives under the incorrect assumption that they are brother and sister, they unconsciously act out the truth through their very different personalities and actions. Dorris places so much importance on personal background and family history that these elements affect the novel’s characters even when the characters are not aware of their histories.
Most of this final chapter is concerned with Christine’s loss of faith, which we have already seen through Christine’s point of view earlier in the novel. Of all the scenes in the novel that are told from multiple points of view, this is the scene with the least amount of misunderstanding. For once, Christine and Ida seem to be operating on the same wavelength. When Christine tries to make Ida look nice for the apocalypse, both women are impressed by how beautiful Ida looks afterward. When Lee shatters this moment of connection with his mocking laugh, both Ida and Christine are angry with him. Interestingly, each woman is indignant on the part of the other, as Christine thinks Ida’s feelings are hurt and Ida thinks Christine’s feelings are hurt. This mutual concern is rare in the context of the numerous misunderstandings in the novel, and shows how close Christine and Ida are at this moment.
Dorris ends the novel with a return to the image of braiding to give us a final, lingering image of how his fractured narrative structure leads to a whole. Like a braid, the novel takes three different strands of narrative and weaves them together to create an overarching story that is greater than the sum of the individual components. Each story contributes differently to the themes of the novel, but no single narrative operates independently of the others. Through the three different points of view, many aspects of the novel’s events, characters, and characters’ motivations are revealed that would remain hidden if the story were told from only one of these three perspectives. Thus, we have an opportunity to hear the whole story, something none of the characters in the novel has been able to do fully.