Barefoot 8 (Pages 272-287)

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Now we know all the details about Brenda’s problem.

The people who told on her were one of her female students and the professor who tried to chat her up in the bar. So the head of the department kicked her out. I can understand that relationships were forbidden between lecturers and students as it was a rule of the college. What I don’t understand is how Brenda was treated afterwards. The other lecturers and staff treated her as if she had committed a heinous crime. I think that is totally unfair. Then as she was cornered by two members of the staff and was despised and accused, she got furious and threw a book, unfortunately hitting the painting, which she is now sued for. The amount of money her lawyers has advised her to settle on is over one hundred thousand dollars, a sum she doesn’t have. The only possibility would be to let Vicki sell her out of her part in the cottage, but Brenda doesn’t want to bother her sister with this matter, and I think the main reason is that she loves Nantucket and the cottage, and selling her part would be like losing part of herself.

As for Josh, she is accosted by Didi when he is on the beach with the boys. She tells him that she knows about him and Melanie. So what she intends is to blackmail him. That means she won’t tell anybody about his affair if he gives her $500. I think this is outrageous, and I wonder if Josh will let this nasty woman get her way.  Does he care about his reputation so much or about Melanie’s? I imagine that having people know you have an affair with a married woman, and pregnant to boot, must be uncomfortable. And Melanie also gets to lose. If Peter were to hear about her indiscretion, would he want to get back with her? Or maybe Melanie doesn’t care about her husband any longer even if she is expecting his baby.

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