The narrative jumps to the year 2005. Julia, Zoë, and Julia’s two-year-old daughter (young Sarah) now live in New York City. Julia has a bland but kind boyfriend with whom she shares a “mechanical and dull” sex life. She feels like “a wooden Charlie Chaplin character,” stumbling through her own life.
Julia is in the throes of an identity crisis that has been in motion since she first looked at her reflection in Chapter 2. She also seems to be depressed, which suggests the powerful hold that her research on Sarah still has on her nearly three years after the fact.