'Skin of the Sea' Book Club Readalong Day 1!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @bewareofthereader

Welcome to the first day of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's December book, Skin of the Sea!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 1-5 of Skin of the Sea, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.

Please note that there is a content warning I encourage you to read at the beginning of the book before starting!

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCSkinOfTheSea for another chance to win!

The story begins...

Chapter 1
Simidele waits beneath the waves, following a ship, to gather the souls of the dead thrown overboard. The woman today looks familiar to her. She gathers her essence into the sapphire necklace to bring to Yemoja.

Although it is not yet the seventh day, the only day Yemoja can be summoned, Simidele returns to her island where she runs into Folsade, another of the other six Mami Wata. Simidele wants to return to land and change back to being a human and does not heed Folsade’s advice to let go of that person. As a human she dreams of her mother and when she wakes on the seventh day she hopes she can hold on to the memory.

Chapter 2:
Simidele summons Yemoja, who reminds her that her duty is to collect the souls of the dead, no more and no less. Together they send the women’s soul on to Olodumare. It’s time for Simidele to return to the sea, but she tries to tuck the memory of the color of her mother’s eyes away. She tries not to let the sea take it.

Chapter 3:
Simidele follows another ship in a storm, and eventually a body crashes into the sea, but to her surprise the boy is not dead, and looking into his eyes she recalls the memory of her mother. She grabs the boy and brings him to the surface and although he is alive now he may not be for long. The sharks are not listening to her pleas for them to leave.

Chapter 4:
Simidele pulls the boy from the sea and without thinking turns from Mami Wata to human in front of his eyes. He has been badly injured, clearly having been lashed. He is also clearly afraid of her.

While he rests Simidele ponders what to do, and makes the decision to help him and return him to the mainland. She gathers him food and water, and tries to help soothe his wounds. He still seems afraid of her, but after some time he begs her to take him to Yemoja, thinking that the orisa will help him return home to his family.

Chapter 5:
Simidele reluctantly agrees to help Kola summon Yemoja, but he is very impatient. Insisting waiting until the next day will take too long. He eventually stalks off, smashing of his manacles, and returns calmer. Kola sleeps, and soon Simidele drifts off beside him, dreaming of her time on a ship. Kola wakes her when she screams.


  1. What do you think Yemoja’s reaction to saving Kola will be?
  2. Do you think Yemoja will agree to help?
  3. Why do you think Kola needs to return to his family so quickly?
  4. Do you think we will get to meet the other Mami Wata?
  5. Did you enjoy the first section of the book?

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