This Poison Heart Readalong Day 2!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @betterwithabookinmyhand

Welcome back to day two of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's July book, This Poison Heart!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 5-8 of This Poison Heart, 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 so far...

Chapter 5:
After a few days of preparation the three head for Rhinebeck and their new home. When they arrive at the estate it is completely overgrown with plants, and inside it a mess, but the house feels lived in. As they explore the house they come across a large room completely filled with jars containing plant samples, from floor to ceiling. Briseis climbs the ladder giving access to hire shelves and finds a small cupboard containing all the most poisonous plants.

They pick out their bedrooms and as Briseis continues to explore she finds another doorway that leads to a third floor. They make Mo go up first.

Chapter 6:
Upstairs is a small room under the house's turret filled with books and boxes, and many paintings of the same woman. Briseis’s moms leave her alone and she starts to open the contents of the manila envelope the estate attorney gave her when she hears a scream. Running downstairs and outside she trips and falls beside her mom, who has also fallen in a patch of poison ivy. They go inside to get washed off and although her mom is covered in welts, Briseis seems to be fine. Mo goes to town to find calamine. Sitting by herself in the porch Briseis finally reads the letter inside the envelope, which is from Circe. It tells her that although she will have many questions, she can find the answers in a safe in the turret room, but she must not share the information she finds there with anyone.

After Mo returns with food and chamomile lotion, which doesn’t seem to be helping, Briseis decides to call her grandma to get her to walk her through making a salve that she uses that works for bug bites. Taking her phone to the apothecary, she is able to make what her grandma tells her.

When her parents go to bed Briseis sneaks back up to the turret room and enters the safe, inside are three numbered envelopes with her name on them. When she looks out the window she sees a young girl staring at her from their driveway.

 Chapter 7:

Briseis rushes and tells her moms about the person in the driveway, and Mom sees her, but as she bursts outside the girl seems to have disappeared. They call the police and a public safety officer, Dr. Grant, comes to the house and they do a sweep of the property.

The next day they decide to start cleaning the house from top to bottom, starting in the turret room. As they clean they find a large book on a pedestal containing information on many poisonous plants, including how to grow them and their magical uses. As they flip through they find an illustration of a plant that looks exactly like a real human heart that appears to have been drawn by Briseis’s biological mother. Realizing she needs a minute to herself, Briseis’s moms leave and Briseis decides to investigate what is in the envelopes in the vault.

 Chapter 8:

Inside the first envelope Briseis finds not a letter but a map and a key with the instructions to bring the second envelope with her. Outside she sees three paths, but the map tells her to take a fourth. She finds a small indent where a path may have been, but it’s completely overgrown with mildly poisonous plants. Testing a theory, Briseis reaches out to touch them and they retract showing a well worn bath.

After about 15 minutes of walking Briseis comes to a clearing which contains an enclosure, which is where she opens the second letter. The enclosure contains all the plants needed to stock the apothecary. Suddenly a man appears from the bushes, definitely worse for wear, calling her Selene. He had a large machete-like knife with him and when Briseis started to feel threatened all the plants grab him and held him while she made a run for it. Back at the house they call Dr. Grant and they are able to apprehend the man and take him to the hospital. When Briseis mentions to Dr. Grant that the man thought she was Selene she seemed shocked.


  1. Who do you think the girl in the driveway was?
  2. Why do you think that Bri isn't able to tell her parents what she finds out in the safe?
  3. Why do you think the man thought Bri was Selene when she has been dead for so long? Why do you think the man was lurking out there on the property in the first place?
  4. What do you think Circe means by "the apothecary has been a pillar of this community for generations"? Rhinebeck has been mentioned to be strange a few times, what do you think makes it different?

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