And We Stay Summary & Study Guide

Jenny Hubbard
This Study Guide consists of approximately 58 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of And We Stay.
This section contains 538 words
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And We Stay Summary & Study Guide Description

And We Stay Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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As the novel “And We Stay” by Jenny Hubbard begins, Emily Beam is starting the spring semester at her new boarding school. She is attending a new school because her boyfriend Paul recently committed suicide in their old school's library. Through the course of the novel Emily struggles to come to terms with Paul’s death and with her own decision to abort the baby they created together. As the themes of friendship, death, and guilt intertwine, Emily learns that she does not have to let her past determine who she will be in the future.

When Emily first arrives at Amherst School for Girls (ASG), she avoids friendship with others as she concentrates on her studies and tries to block out the memories of Paul. Almost from the beginning of her time at ASG Emily cannot ignore the poems that find their way into her head. She begins to write them down. It's a way to work through the pain and guilt she feels because of Paul's suicide which occurred only days after she broke up with him. She had been pregnant with his baby. Even though Paul wanted to keep the child, Emily and her parents had already decided it was in Emily’s best interests for her to have an abortion. Once Paul was dead, Emily tried to back out of the abortion when she realized she’d be killing the last living part of him. However, her mother would not listen to her. Emily had the abortion.

Now, Emily has been sent to ASG to get her away from the stories and rumors surrounding the circumstances of Paul’s death. Even in a different school, Emily is still haunted by the emotions she feels as she tries to find a place for herself. Her roommate, K.T. takes Emily under her wing from the start, but it is not until much later in the semester that Emily begins to share her story with her roommate. Ironically, Emily learns that K.T. is also attending ASG because a friend of hers committed suicide, too.

Meanwhile, Emily’s French teacher Madame Colche learns that Emily has been writing poetry. She shares with Emily a biography of Emily Dickinson, a poet who one lived in Amherst and attended ASG many years prior. Emily Beam relates to Emily Dickinson on many different levels and soon realizes the late poet is her muse. Through the use of a stolen dress, Amber, another student who tries to befriend Emily, manipulates Emily into visiting Emily Dickinson’s room in person. It is during her time in Emily Dickinson’s room that Emily believes the poet speaks to her.

Through a series of events, a school gossip named Annabelle steals a poem from Emily about Emily’s abortion. Annabelle submits this poem to a poetry contest that Madame Colche had wanted Emily to enter. Though Emily is at first mortified that her very private poem has been made public, she decides not to interfere with the course of the competition. She has learned through her poetry that she doesn’t have to allow herself to be defined by her past or what she has done in the past.

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This section contains 538 words
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