As far as plot goes, Christopher is finally going off and getting married, moving into the house his parents had built him... Lot's of life changing events, yes? Instead of going into detail about the event itself, Strout chose to go over the after party through Olive's point of view. Considering how hateful she is, the reader encounters some very negative commentary from the woman who even goes so far as to deliberately disrupt the new wife's happy little bubble through various acts of vandalism. She explains why she committed the petty crimes thought, justifying that it was to give herself a little burst of happiness to know that the wife will have sudden periods of self-doubt. Her entire goal is to assure her power over her son's life.
"And she would never know, would she? Because who would mark a sweater, steal a bra, take one shoe? The sweater will be ruined, and the shoe will be gone, along with the bra, covered by used Kleenex and old sanitary napkins in the bathroom trash of Dunkin' Donuts, and then squashed into a dumpster the next day. As a matter of fact, there is no reason, if Dr. Sue is going to live near Olive, that Olive can't occasionally take a little of this, a little of that -- just to keep the self-doubt alive. Give herself a little burst. Because Christopher doesn't need to be living with a woman who thinks she knows everything. Nobody knows everything -- they shouldn't think they do." (74)