'A Lesson in Vengeance' Readalong Day 5!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @thetatteredpage

Welcome to the fifth day of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's August book, A Lesson in Vengeance!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 17-21 of A Lesson in Vengeance, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! 

The story goes on...

Chapter 17:
For days after the Night Migration Felicity avoids the others out of embarrassment, but Ellis isn’t having it. The other thing that has changed is Felicity’s laptop died, so she is now forced to use one of the school’s typewriters for her assignments.

A few nights after the Night Migration, Ellis tells her they should practice one of the murders. First she gets Felicity to strangle her from behind with a makeshift garrote, but when she is unsatisfied with how much effort Felicity puts into it Ellis demonstrates it on Felicity. She strangles her to the point that she can’t struggle away, pressing on her carotid artery. When she does let go she catches Felicity as she falls to the floor, comforting her and insisting she would rather die than actually kill her. She leaves Felicity alone in her bedroom.

Chapter 18:
Felicity finds a note giving her the coordinates to the next Night Migration, but when she arrives it’s not some place in the forest, but a run down car rental agency. Ellis tells her they are having their own private Night Migration and using a fake ID rents a car and drives them up into the Catskills. Soon Felicity realizes where they are going: the cemetery where Alex’s grave is. Ellis gives Felicity a copy of The Secret Garden, one of Alex’s favorites, and leaves her at the grave. The coffin is of course empty as they never found the body. Felicity reads some of the book to Alex and leaves it on the grave before Ellis reappears with a shovel and suggests they dig the grave up. That maybe doing so would give Felicity some closure. Appalled, Felicity refuses and they drive back to Dalloway. Felicity, understandable angry, slams her door at Ellis.

Chapter 19:
Laying in bed Felicity answers a phone call from her mother, still in France. She’s calling to check in on the request of Dr. Ortega. Insisting she is fine Felicity hangs up to find Kajal in her doorway letting her know there is someone downstairs waiting for her. It’s Hannah and she’s delivering a large box full of Felicity’s old things that her mother had shipped. Hannah finally takes the hint and leaves when Ellis arrives. Ellis wants to talk about what happened at the graveyard and that all she wants is to see Felicity happy again.

It’s cram time before finals and Godwin House is busy studying. Ellis has moved on to trying to figure out Beatrix Walker’s death - she was found inside with all of her bones broken like she had fallen from a great height. Up in her room Felicity discovers a copy of The Secret Garden...the exact same copy she recently left on Alex’s grave. It smells like Alex’s perfume and has a sprig of hellebore inside.

Chapter 20:
Felicity drops the book and flees to Ellis’ room, pounding on her door. When she eventually opens Felicity runs into her arms and tells her that Alex must have done it. Ellis calls her delusional and it’s then that Felicity accuses Ellis of being the one to bring the book back and put it on her shelf. Ellis steadfastly denies this, but can’t think immediately of another explanation. She tells Felicity that it is late and she’ll look at the book tomorrow.

Not able to face sleeping in her room, Felicity surrounds the book on the floor with dandelion and then retreats to sleep in the common room. She jolts awake in the morning, Leonie and Kajal already awake and making breakfast in the kitchen. Ellis asks to see the book but when they enter Felicity’s room it’s gone. She runs downstairs and accuses the others of taking it, which they deny. She again flees up to her room where Ellis brings her a cup of coffee. When Felicity tells her she isn’t going home for Thanksgiving, Ellis invites her to stay at Dalloway with her and her sibling.

Chapter 21:
It’s Thanksgiving break and Felicity and Ellis are alone at Dalloway. Ellis’ sibling, Quinn arrives and they all chat in the common room, Ellis making them cocktails. Ellis seems offended when Quinn brings up that she didn’t used to like whiskey, and as Quinn leaves for the evening Ellis tells Felicity that she’s happy she stayed with her at Dalloway.

The next evening Felicity and Quinn end up getting drunk together and Quinn tells her the story of the time Ellis’ moms left her with her grandmother when she was ten and in the time they were gone a storm came through, knocking out power for days, and unfortunately during that time her grandmother also passed away. Ellis was stuck on her own and eventually resorted to strangling and eating her own rabbit out of desperation. Ellis appears in the doorway and said she had had some choice - it was between the rabbit and the dog. Up in her room Felicity finds another invitation to a Night Migration.


  1. What do you think happened with The Secret Garden? Do you think Ellis was involved or do you trust her?
  2. What do you think is going to happen at the next Night Migration?
  3. Do you think there's a reason Ellis chose to stay at Dalloway over the break other than writing?
  4. Ellis seems to be getting more and more manipulative. Why do you think that is? 

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