This Poison Heart Readalong Day 3!

By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @readingathousandworlds

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 9-12 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 9:
The next day they decide to check out Rhinebeck. Briseis goes into a used bookstore and meets Karter, a boy about her age, who works there. When she asks where a good place to eat would be he takes her to a restaurant called Ginger’s and they eat lunch with Briseis’s moms, who of course embarrass her greatly. After lunch she walks him back to the bookstore only to run into Mrs. Redmond, the estate attorney, who happens to be Karter’s mom. They exchange numbers and Briseis heads back to the estate with her moms. She spends the afternoon procrastinating going back to find out what is beyond the gate.

Chapter 10:
The next morning Briseis awake before her parents and decides to take the opportunity to go back to the gate. Once inside she follows a stone corridor to a courtyard that is filled with plant beds, all containing plants that correspond to the jars in the apothecary. She makes it to what she assumes is the moon gate and opens the third letter. It tells her that beyond the gate lay the world’s deadliest poison plants, and that normal people would never be able to come into contact with them, but Briseis will need no protections. It also tells her that Selene wanted to protect her from this life, but Circe thinks it is important. As she enters she is flooded with a feeling of being cold, but otherwise feels fine.

Leaving the poison garden Briseis decides to call Dr. Grant to see if she has any information about the man with the knife. Dr. Grant tells her that his name is Alec Morris, he is 73 years old, and he has lived in Rhinebeck his whole life, but sadly doesn’t have anything else to add. After her call Briseis gets a text from Karter saying he wants to drop off more field guides for her, so she sends her address. After visiting with her parents, Karter takes Briseis for a drive and she asks him to take her to the hospital so she can visit Alec Morris.

Chapter 11:
As the room where Alec Morris is being kept is guarded, Karter makes a diversion as Briseis slips inside. Alec apologizes for scaring her and says he had the machete with him to hack through the foliage. He tells her that Circe shut down the apothecary after Selene died and that he went to the estate out of desperation to try to find comfrey to help treat his diabetes. Briseis agrees to get him some. It turns out Karter’s diversion was quite real as he has sprained his ankle. After helping him to the truck he tells Briseis a little bit about his complicated relationship with his mom, and as Briseis hops out of the truck at the estate Mo invites him for breakfast the next morning.

Chapter 12:
With her parents busy cleaning the house, Briseis decides to look over Circe’s map again and try to plot out regrowing the garden. When she looks at the map closely though, it appears like a part is missing and that there is something beyond the poison garden. She rushes outside and finds behind a layer of Devil’s Pet and poison ivy (which, oddly, had just manhandled her until she demanded they stop) is revealed a rusted metal door. Unfortunately, none of her keys work in the lock.

Back at the house Briseis is searching in the turret room for what could be a key when she comes across many books telling the tale of Madea, a character from Greek myth who happens to be in a lot of the paintings around the house. She is known for poisoning her unfaithful husband’s, Jason, new lover. Briseis has a visitor at the front door - the girl she saw in the driveway their first night in the house.



  1. What do you think is beyond the locked door in the Poison Garden?
  2. Why do you think the girl has shown up at their front door?
  3. What do you think Madea's story has to do with Briseis' family?
  4. Although Alec Morris seems to have been wanting access to the apothecary for innocent reasons, why do you think Briseis' family keeps a separate Poison Garden of such deadly plants?
  5. Why do you think the Devil's Pet and the poison ivy reacted to  Briseis they way they did in the Poison Garden?

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