Summary and Analysis
Ronnie is overwhelmed at the sight of Will's house and feels out of place, declining a tour. As Will prepares to change, he introduces Ronnie to his mother, Susan. Although Ronnie senses tension and displeasure from Susan, Will does not seem to notice. When Will is changing, Susan mentions the loggerhead nest and that is the extent of their conversation. Thankfully, for Ronnie, Will's father, Tom, enters. As she waits, Tom shows Ronnie his remote-control toy airplane.
Ronnie prepares Will for her family tradition, liar's poker. Jonah wins more than everyone else. Steve and Jonah are on their best behavior the entire evening, and Ronnie realizes that her father trusts her to make her own decision regarding Will. Ronnie also realizes that she made a big mistake avoiding her father for three years. At the end of the chapter, Will and Ronnie agree to go for a romantic stroll on the beach.
The similarities between Will and Ronnie are quite interesting: He does not mention his family name and business, and she doesn't mention being a piano prodigy. Both of them want to be recognized as individuals. It is important to realize that they have different socioeconomic situations but that they also have similar circumstances.
This chapter also establishes the tension between Ronnie and Will's mother. Ronnie already is not liked by Will's friends, and having difficulties with his mother clearly is not going to help. Ronnie realizes that she is an outsider, and for one of the first times in her life, she is concerned about what another person thinks of her.
The time spent at Will's house and at dinner is important to -Ronnie's growth — she is appreciative of the fact that Steve did not offer any telling details from Ronnie's past and that he is allowing her to make her own decisions.