This Poison Heart Readalong Day 4!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @a.o.tales
Welcome back to day four 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 13-16 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...
The girl is Marie, Alec’s granddaughter, and she has come to get the comfrey for Alec. Briseis takes her to the apothecary and reluctantly takes the $20 Marie gives her for the herb. She also asks Briseis to grow her rosary peas to replace the broken ones on her necklace, and she seems to know that although they are deadly to cultivate it won’t be a problem for Briseis.
When Marie leaves Briseis tells her parents that she wants to reopen the apothecary. After retiring to her room for the night Briseis notices that the fireplace in her room looks completely unused. Curious, she pulls the chain for the flue expecting the chimney to have had some sort of blockage. Instead, the fireplace moves aside and reveals a small room the size of a walk in closet with a desk in it. On the walls are a map with some pins in it and a painting of Medea with another figure in the frame that makes Briseis very uneasy.
The next morning Karter shows up for breakfast, and of course Mo makes a disaster of the waffles. After eating food bought from town Briseis and Karter go for a walk behind the house. Karter’s mom calls him and Briseis asks her if she perhaps has seen another key for the house. While not paying attention walking through the grass Karter notices it start to grow towards her and turn neon green. Instead of lying about what is happening, Briseis decides to tell him.
She takes him to the garden and shows him a bit of what she can do. She also decides to show him the Poison Garden, but it turns out even breathing the air is poisonous to Karter. He is able to recover and Briseis tells him about wanting to fix the garden and start up the apothecary again. To her surprise, he agrees to help. Karter comes over every day that week to help her.
Briseis asks Mo for the email address of her friend, Professor Kent, who is an expert in Greek mythology. Professor Kent tells her that Medea was actually based on a real woman that people considered a witch at the time. She just so happened to be the daughter of the King of Colchis, which is also her birth mother's surname. Getting her thoughts in order, Briseis emails Professor Kent with some more questions before asking if they can go into town. She wants to visit Mrs. Redmond and see if she found the key.
In town Briseis meets a woman in a boutique named Mama Lucille. Mama Lucille puts in an order for the apothecary, but she also seems to have some sort of psychic ability and tells Briseis not to stock oleander. When Briseis tries to go to Mrs. Redmond’s office no one is there, so she calls Karter who tells her he’s at his second job - not at the bookstore. When she asks him if he wants to get lunch the next day he seems to hesitate, but ultimately agrees. Mo texts in a panic - when she was inside the grocery store someone slashed her tires. After dealing with the hassle of getting the tires changed, Mrs. Redmond calls Briseis back and tells her she has found one more piece of paper to give her, but no key. The drawing is of the crest Briseis saw on the door and the desk with three lines underneath it. Mrs. Redmond warns Briseis to be careful as there may be people looking to take advantage of them. Before Briseis leaves, Mrs. Redmond sees on the TV in her office that her friends from high school has been found dead.
- Why do you think Karter seemed hesitant to meet up with Briseis for lunch the next day? What do you think his second job is?
- Do you think Marie has any sort of bad intentions? Why do you think she was at the house the night Mrs. Redmond saw her?
- Why do you think Mama Lucille told Briseis not to stock oleander?
- Do you think there's some sort of link between Briseis' return to Rhinebeck and the death of Mrs. Redmond's friend?
- Do you think there's some real relation between Briseis' birth family and the real Medea? Or do you think it's more of a family obsession?