49 pages 1 hour read

Zadie Smith


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2012

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Part 3, Pages 292-355

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “Host”

Part 3, Pages 292-355 Summary

Natalie becomes absorbed in her work. At one point, when having brunch with some of her married friends, she realizes, “She could only justify herself to herself when she worked. If only she could go to the bathroom and spend the next hour alone with her email” (300). Yet she also begins to doubt her work doing “good deeds.” She also begins to question her marriage and develops a habit of checking listings for people seeking sex, which she hides from Frank.

Natalie also seeks out her mother and siblings, with mixed results. In response to Cheryl’s messy house and rambunctious kids, Natalie says she hates to see her sister living like this, prompting an argument. Yet when visiting her brother, Jayden, who has come out, she gets drunk with him and learns about his life and how proud he is of her. Natalie also casually runs into her old schoolmate Nathan. Though she is unsure of how to talk to him at that moment, she will have a later run-in with him in the fifth part of NW, “Crossing.”

Frank and Natalie move into a new house in a more upscale area. Marcia pressures Natalie about not having children. She and Frank eventually have two children.