Summary: Chapters 24-25 and Verity’s Letter    

Chapter 24 

Seven months after Verity’s death, Lowen reflects on the changes in their lives. She returns to Manhattan immediately after Verity’s death, leaving Jeremy to deal with the aftermath. Lowen is now pregnant with Jeremy’s daughter, and she and Jeremy support each other through the challenges that follow Verity’s death. Lowen stays away for two weeks, but then returns to Jeremy to start a new life together. Lowen, Crew and Jeremy move to North Carolina, where they try to move on from all the horrors in Vermont. Jeremy and Lowen focus on creating a loving environment for Crew and their unborn child, trying to overshadow the dark past with new, joyful memories. Although it’s occasionally still hard, Lowen seems to believe that they are truly leaving the past behind them. However, this peace doesn’t last long. Returning to the old house to clear out remaining belongings, the trio are confronted with the remnants of the dramatic events surrounding Verity’s accident. As they’re packing, Crew retrieves drawings he knows are hidden in a compartment in the floor of Verity’s room. This discovery leads Lowen to find more hidden items, including a mysterious letter addressed to Jeremy. Consumed by a sense of foreboding, Lowen begins to read the letter, opening a door to yet more unsettling revelations. 

Verity’s Letter 

In Verity's pivotal, shocking letter, she offers a contrasting perspective to her "autobiography." Initially written for Jeremy when she planned to vanish with Crew, Verity appeals to Jeremy’s romantic side as she reminisces about their blissful life before their daughter Harper's death. Verity attributes many of their marital problems to her writing career, admitting she didn’t handle things well. After advice from her editor, Amanda, she began "antagonistic journaling," writing her diary from the perspective of a villain in order to make her novels more gripping. This technique enhanced her novels, giving her lots of practice as she developed her signature style. 

Verity maintains Harper's death was accidental and expresses deep remorse. She'd hoped Harper, more accustomed to the lake, would manage to swim to shore when the canoe capsized. As a way of dealing with the shock of Harper’s death, Verity continued to journal antagonistically about the accident. This caused catastrophic issues when Jeremy found the manuscript on her laptop. Here, the letter reveals the twist that that Jeremy has already read So Be It before Lowen arrives in Vermont. Taking the autobiography as a confession, Jeremy immediately seeks revenge on Verity for killing Harper and manipulating their family. He re-enacts the ending of the autobiography, driving Verity’s car into a tree. Although she was injured, it wasn’t permanent, and Verity feigned extensive brain damage to protect herself from further harm. She felt trapped into continuing to do so with Lowen's arrival. 

Verity writes that she aims to escape with Crew once she receives proceeds from Lowen's extension of her series. She's established a covert account for these funds. Despite everything, Verity still loves Jeremy and laments the end of their relationship. Her main focus, however, is ensuring Crew's safety. Throughout, she insists on her innocence, emphasizing that So Be It is entirely fictional and that she regrets Jeremy's newfound love for Lowen. 

Chapter 25 

When Lowen returns to the Vermont house to tie up loose ends, but Crew has a final surprise for her. Previously Crew had been wary of Lowen and refused to repeat anything his mother said to him, unless under duress. Ironically, in Chapter 24 he shows Lowen the location of a document in which Verity talks about herself just as candidly as she does in So Be It. The version of events it contains completely upends her own understanding of the situation she’s just lived through, and she’s thrown into utter confusion. She struggles with the many intense revelations: that Verity wasn’t a villain, that Jeremy already knew about the manuscript, that it was actually Jeremy who tried to kill her when he found it. She has no idea what to do next, especially because the letter also reveals that Jeremy lied to her the entire time she was in Vermont. She is left grasping at straws, questioning Verity’s guilt and Jeremy’s honesty.  

Overwhelmed, she decides to destroy the letter, tearing it up and flushing it down the toilet. In a fitting tribute to her obsessive love for Jeremy, she even consumes all the pieces that have his name on them, in order to obliterate Verity’s hold over him. She believes that she can spare Crew and Jeremy any more guilt or pain by choosing to bear the burden of the secret herself. Lowen steels herself, as flashbacks of all the terrifying events in her life appear in front of her. Instead of crumbling, she pushes them all to the back of her mind and joins Jeremy in walking out of the house. 

As they drive away, Lowen watches the house disappear in the distance through the windows of Jeremy’s Jeep. She is determined to be a supportive partner to Jeremy, guiding him away from the trauma of his past. She reasons that there’s nothing to suggest Verity’s letter was the truth and the manuscript was fiction. Verity was a writer who knew how to manipulate her readers, and the results of her actions remain the same no matter what version of events Lowen chooses to believe. 


In the climactic letter, Verity reveals a series of tragic and complicated events from a very different perspective of her “autobiography,” totally shifting the novel’s landscape of truth. The letter begins with the assumption that it would be found by Jeremy after Verity had run away with Crew. Like much of Verity’s behavior, the letter assumes everything will have worked out the way that she planned, and that she will have been able to fool everyone for as long as she needs to. She begins by apologizing to Jeremy, anticipating that she would have left, never to be found, by the time he read the letter. The letter reveals a completely different aspect of Verity than the autobiography. Because Lowen has never spoken to Verity before her accident, she has no way of knowing what the woman was really like.  

The contents of the letter itself are masterfully manipulative. Verity briefly reflects on her happy life with Jeremy before Chastin’s death, which she says marked the beginning of their final downfall. Verity also shoulders some of the responsibility for their problems, explaining that her career as a writer was really the cause of many of their troubles. She recalls a significant dinner with her editor, Amanda, where she received advice on improving her writing through a process called “antagonistic journaling.” This involved writing real–life events as if she were writing an autobiography, but doing so as if all her motives were absolutely villainous. It was supposed to be helpful for her process, even therapeutic. Verity describes how she applied this advice in So Be It, creating a fictional, darker version of her life’s events. It helped her in crafting compelling narratives for her novels. However, this exercise also became a source of misunderstanding and conflict when it got into the wrong hands. Verity reveals that Jeremy actually found the So Be It manuscript himself shortly after Harper died. When he found the “antagonistic journal” Jeremy took it as a confession of Verity’s guilt and evil intentions, particularly concerning Harper’s death. 

Verity insists that Harper’s death was a tragic accident, expressing profound guilt and sorrow. She explains that she really did try to save Harper when she fell in, and that she never intended to capsize the canoe in the first place. She told Crew to hold his breath because Harper was more experienced on the lake, and Verity thought she would remember what to do. She feels devastated by Jeremy’s suspicions, and when he treats her like a murderer, she channels her grief and pain into more antagonistic journaling. She explains that Jeremy can’t understand a writer’s process, and that she found relief in making her story even darker than her real life. However, Jeremy soon finds the manuscript. He’s enraged and tries to kill her, orchestrating the crash in the Range Rover that paralyzes Verity. She details her struggles with the humiliation of pretending to be comatose, with Lowen’s arrival, and with having to witness Jeremy’s new, developing relationship. Eerily, the diction and structure of the sentences in the letter echoes the language in So Be It. To Lowen, it’s impossible to tell which story is true. Both check out factually, and both are strange enough to seem equally plausible. 

At the end of her letter, Verity expresses a mix of hurt, understanding, and lingering love towards Jeremy. She observes that while their marriage might have survived two murder attempts, it’s unlikely to last through a third. Although she hopes for eventual forgiveness and understanding from him, her only real priority is now Crew’s safety. Throughout the letter, Verity maintains that she is innocent of any crimes and that the entire manuscript of So Be It is fictional. She ridicules Jeremy for thinking that it could possibly be factual, especially the parts where she writes about being obsessed with their sexual life. All of these interventions make the letter frighteningly convincing, and Lowen has absolutely no idea how to react.