Summary: Chapter 7 and So Be It Chapter 3

At the beginning of Chapter 3 of So Be It, Verity discovers she is pregnant, realizing it when her breasts change. She's meticulous about her body due to her fear of weight gain inherited from her mother. She believes in treating the body like a machine, giving it what it needs rather than desires. She criticizes her mother's lack of self-discipline and worries that pregnancy will destroy the “machine” she has spent so long perfecting. 

Verity reminisces about telling Jeremy about the pregnancy during their engagement. Although she’s initially happy, her satisfaction wanes as her body changes, making her uncomfortable. Despite this, Jeremy finds her even more attractive, which confuses her. At one point, he refers to her and the babies as one unit using the affectionate term "my girls." She hates this and it totally unnerves her, as she's torn between delighting in his happiness and fearing losing his attention. Verity's anxiety deepens even further when she learns they're expecting twins. She dreads becoming the "third most important thing" to Jeremy. Secretly, she hopes for a miscarriage so she can regain his focus. 

As her pregnancy progresses into its fourth month, Verity becomes increasingly desperate to end it. She begins to deliberately do things that are harmful to her pregnancy, from taking sleeping pills to binge–drinking. She’s horrified when the twins, seemingly undisturbed, just keep growing. By the fifth month, the presence of the babies starts to impact Verity and Jeremy's sex life, and she questions Jeremy's love for her. When probed about whether he loves the babies more than her, Jeremy baldly responds that he does. Verity is devastated, and when he falls asleep, Verity attempts a dangerous self–induced abortion using a wire hanger in the bathroom. When she feels that the operation must have been completed, she gets back into bed with Jeremy. She wants him to witness her suffering, hoping it will shift his focus away from the babies and back to her. 

Chapter 7 

Chapter 7 shifts the narrative back to Lowen's perspective. She drops the last page of the manuscript, horrified by Verity's shocking revelations about her children and her husband. Given the disturbing information she's uncovered, Lowen is now deeply troubled and begins to wonder about Verity's capabilities and intentions. Seeking solace after these chilling pieces of information come to light, Lowen heads to the kitchen to retrieve a drink. Jeremy is unexpectedly already in there, and he prepares her a Crown Royal and Coke while they discuss Verity’s work. Jeremy provides Lowen with further insight into Verity's grim prognosis. In response to Lowen’s careful questions, he reveals that while Verity’s not physically paralyzed, her mental state has regressed to an infantile level. Lowen leaves the kitchen and examines family photos of Jeremy, Verity, Crew, Harper and Chastin hanging in the hallway. When she goes to bed, Lowen discovers that a new lock has been installed on her bedroom door. As she prepares for sleep, she thinks about the scar on her hand, as it’s a constant reminder of the dangers of her sleepwalking exploits.  


Chapter 3 of So Be It provides a deep dive into Verity's emotions and her evolving relationship with her body during her pregnancy. Verity’s approach to discussing her own body is as pragmatic as her attitude toward sex with her husband. She is used to her body doing what she tells it to and is annoyed and upset when it stops obeying her. 

Verity's initial realization of her pregnancy sets her climbing up the hill of a long rollercoaster of emotions. While she initially feels happiness because Jeremy is pleased with the news, her contentment quickly gives way to discomfort and even disgust as her body begins to change. She believes that Jeremy will no longer be interested in her if her body sags after birth or droops after breastfeeding. She also resents Jeremy for thinking of her body as a container for the twins, as it makes her feel like she’s not being valued for herself. 

By contrast, Jeremy’s response to Verity's changing body is universally positive, as his affection for her goes beyond her physical attributes. He loves the “pooch” that she detests, and his appetite for sex remains healthy and regular. He is very excited at the prospect of fatherhood. However, as this is primarily shown to the reader through Verity’s lens in So Be It, his delight in the changes to come is tinged with her resentment and annoyance. It seems that the more Jeremy dotes on her, the more suspicious of his loyalty she becomes. 

When Verity learns she’s expecting twins, she is distraught. Her honest admission that she is disappointed because she resents the idea of becoming the "third most important thing" to Jeremy points to her lingering insecurities and desperate need for his attention and affection. 

The chapter also explores Verity's desperate attempts to end her pregnancy in grim detail. Hoover leans into descriptions of substance abuse and botched medical procedures. As with everything else, Verity is blunt and practical when describing the actions she’s willing to take to secure a prize. Giving herself a bathroom abortion seems preferable to losing her identity to motherhood. Verity's shocking attempt to self–abort her children leaves Lowen horrified and curious about her capabilities and motivations. Lowen struggles to reconcile the immaculate, placid woman in the wheelchair with the monster the autobiography is beginning to reveal.  

In this section the reader is also made aware of just how far both Lowen and Verity are willing to go to get to the truth. Verity asks questions that have the potential to explode her relationship in her pursuit of understanding Jeremy. Lowen has moved states to try and learn the truth about Verity’s writing style so she can imitate it. However, she quickly finds herself far more engrossed in researching and revealing the truth about Verity as a person. She meticulously sifts through the layers of Verity’s life, digging through all of her schemes, plans and information-gathering as she tries to educate herself on the Crawford situation.