The Fault in Our Stars

chapter 22

why did Mr.Van Hounten come to Indianna? (p.276)

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In Chapter 22, Hazel gets into her car to drive to Augustus’s house and look for the sequel only to find Peter Van Houten creepily waiting in the back seat of her car. He apologizes, waxing poetic about a child saint and finally breaking down in tears about ruining their trip, saying they were too young. All at once, Hazel realizes Van Houten has had someone important in his family die. She asks him if he had a child and he admits that yes, he had a young daughter who died of leukemia, just like Anna in the book. He’d been separated from her mother but spent time with her trying out experimental therapies at the end, eventually having to explain to her that she was going to die. When she did, he promised her that he would meet her soon in Heaven - he says that that was 22 years ago now. Hazel tells him to go home, sober up, and write. He agrees, but when she leaves him on the curb on the side of the road she sees him contemplate his bottle and then take a sip.