Among the Ten Thousand Things Summary & Study Guide

Julia Pierpont
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Among the Ten Thousand Things.
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Among the Ten Thousand Things Summary & Study Guide Description

Among the Ten Thousand Things Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont.

This study guide was created using the following version of this book: Pierpont, Julia. Among the Ten Thousand Things. Random House, 2016.

Among the Ten Thousand Things tells the story of the Shanley family dealing with the aftermath of learning about the father's affair. Jack's mistress sends a letter addressed to his wife Deborah along with a box of pages detailing the affair. Kay, Deb and Jack's 11-year-old daughter, Kay, opens the box and shows it to her brother Simon. The children are upset and confront their mother about the affair. While Deb knew about the affair, she and Jack have been trying to work through the difficulties in their marriage. The letter from the mistress upends any progress they have made.

Meanwhile, Jack is preparing for the opening of his art exhibit while trying to track down his mistress. When he finds that she has skipped town, he tries to locate her. At the opening, his exhibition goes awry when a spectator is wounded during a planned explosion. Stanley, the gallery owner, is reluctant to move forward with the exhibition, leaving Jack's exhibition to close after one night.

Deb reaches out to Gary, Jack's friend from college, who has a vacation house in Rhode Island. She takes Simon and Kay with her, leaving Jack behind. Deb reflects on how she began her relationship with Jack as his mistress and how she left her career as a ballerina when she got pregnant with Simon.

Kay has a history of writing Seinfeld fan fiction and as she tries to process the details of her father's affair, her Seinfeld episodes become sexual in nature. One of her classmate's mothers finds her pages and calls Deb. Deb tries to talk with Kay, but Kay is reluctant.

Simon begins sneaking out after he meets Teagan, a waitress in Rhode Island. He goes to her house, unaware that Kay is following him. Simon and Teagan have sex while Kay is waiting outside on the sidewalk. Kay decides she does not want to wait for her brother and starts home by herself. She injures her ankle and when Deb finds her, she demands to know what is going on. Kay tells her where Simon is and Deb decides to go and get Simon. At Teagan's house, Deb learns from Simon what transpired and she demands to speak to Teagan's mother. While doing so, Kay sneaks off and no one can find her.

Jack, excluded from the family trip, travels to Phoenix to look at a possible exhibition site. Thinking about his family, he decides to go and visit his mother in Houston. While in Houston, Jack is confronted by Charles, his mother's boyfriend, about how he should go back to his family. Jack decides to leave, but is not set on going to be with the family. When he gets the call from Deb that Kay is missing, he rushes to Rhode Island to help with the search.

Jack finds Kay and takes her back to the family and the police search is called off. The family tries to reconnect, but Deb ends up walking out on Jack while at a diner. They end up divorcing. When Kay and Simon are adults, they go back to their old apartment building to look around.

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