In the next part of the novel the point of view shifts, and we learn more about Steph.
It is the day after Mal blurted out his paternity in front of his friends. It is also their wedding anniversary, and Steph realises that both Mal and she have forgotten about it. The following day Mal has changed completely and is attentive and affectionate, and they make love for the first time in months. We learn that Steph is a very vulnerable person who seems to have had mental problems. There are hints that Mal checks the medicine cabinet and talks to their doctor about Steph. So it seems that she has attempted against her life just like Mal’s mother did years ago. Did she try to commit suicide when Mal and Nova apparently had an affair? We don’t have all the details, but that’s what I understand happened. Or was it because she couldn’t have children? Is this the reason why Mal sticks with her? Because he feels sorry for her and reminds him of his own mother?