'Skin of the Sea' Book Club Readalong Day 4!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @grumplstiltskin
Welcome back to the fourth 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 14-16 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 continues...
They carry on with their journey, but Simidele eventually asks them to stop when she notices just how much pain Kola is in. She gets Issa to prepare some of the abada powder into a paste and applies it to Kola's wounds as he tells her about his younger siblings. They rest for awhile, Kola letting his head drift to Simidele’s shoulder. Eventually Issa tells them they need to go on if they want to reach Oko by morning.
As they approach the village they notice many of the plants and trees are dying, bringing back the memory of Simidele’s vision. Issa hides in Kola’s pack to avoid detection. They aren’t greeted warmly, an arrow piercing the ground before them and Simidele warns Kola to be cautious, but before she can stop him he runs into the arms of one of the guards.
Two of the guards, Bem and Yinka, escort Kola and Simidele to his family’s compound, first greeted by Kola’s shocked mother, then his father. They are wearing mourning white. They tell Kola that last night Taiwo and Kehinde, Kola’s siblings, were taken.
Speaking with Bem and Yinka, Kola accuses them of not protecting his siblings, when in reality they were out searching for Kola when the twins were taken by Esu. The babalawo’s confirmation and protection ceremony had happened days prior, but clearly something didn’t work. Bem and Yinka insist on escorting Simidele and Kola to the babalawo in search of answers.
Kola goes to bathe and Bem thanks Simidele for saving Kola when he hears her story. Kola returns, and although his parents are displeased, they eventually relent and allow Kola to go to the babalawo. If the babalawo knows where Esu is, Kola is to return for full supplies and for a new guard, Ifedayo, who is to go with them. But first Kola’s mother insists they eat, and after Issa surprises them with his presence, they sit down to a meal, sending Simidele into another memory of learning to cook as a small child with her mother. They finish their meal and Kola promises his mother he will bring Taiwo and Kehinde home.
The party heads out on small boats down the Ogun river, eventually storing them along the shore when the pull of the tide from the ocean gets too strong. They make their way to the babalawo’s dwelling on foot, and Simidele asks to go in alone first. Inside the walls have carvings of the Mami Wata, so it seems that what Kola told Yumeja is true. The babalawo welcomes her, and tells her he knows who she is because she smells of the sea and that he was the one who carved the sapphire at her neck.
When Simidele reveals why she has come, the babalawo tells her that the rings are gone, taken from him a week ago. But he also reveals that when Taiwo and Kehinde came to him, the rings chose the twins, and this will amplify their power, to the extent that not only will Oko thrive, but all the lands. The rings have been bound to the twins, and no one will be able to use them unless permitted, in life or death. If given permission, the rings can still be used to summon Olodumare. Esu has taken the twins to his island as he wants to force them to grant him permission to use the rings, which will make his power strong enough to rival that of Olodumare.
- Simidele is clearly struggling more and more to walk on her human feet. Do you think she will be forced to reveal herself to Bem and Yinka?
- How do you think Esu will persuade the twins to let him use the rings?
- Why do you think Ifedayo must accompany them on their trip to find the twins? What do you think his roll will be?
- How do you think they will find Esu’s island?
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