The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 31
Summary

Nathan finds Steve in the living room, grabs his arm and leads him out to the verandah where they could talk in peace. Nathan asks him what happened all those years ago, to which Steve explains that he knows as much as what he does: Jenna told Steve that Cameron had raped her, but did not provide any further details on what happened that night. Melanie passes by during their conversation and bids them goodbye. The last of the crowds were getting into their cars, and Cameron’s final farewell was coming to an end. Nathan recalls the day after Carl Bright had received the telephone call, ensuring that Jenna would not return to the town and Cameron would not be charged for rape. His dad came home that day, headed straight for Cameron, and nodded to him — indicating that he had dealt with the matter.

Analysis

After talking to Steve about what had happened to Jenna, Nathan realizes that although Cameron had insisted that he had not raped Jenna, his physical strength and insistence robbed her of her choice regarding the matter: “…I know he was only seventeen, but he wasn’t a child, physically, at least” (Harper 170). Katy’s case shines a spotlight on Cameron’s pattern of behavior, and alludes to the fact that he had raped the two women: “Nathan thought of Katy. It was easier to say yes than no” (Harper 170). Nathan realizes that he, too, had been lost in his sorrow and needed help to find his way out — just like how Jenna was struggling with her issues before going to Steve (Harper 172).

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