This Poison Heart Readalong Day 6!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @thetatteredpage
Welcome back to the penultimate day 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 22-25 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! I'll be selecting a winning comment early next week to give people ample chance to finish the book.
The story so far...
After getting home Briseis goes up to her room and when laying on her bed notices a photo album on top of her armoire. Inside are pictures of Selene growing up, culminating in a picture of her in 2004, pregnant with Briseis. Briseis texts Marie and asks to be taken to see her family’s graves.
Nyx picks her up the next evening and drives her out to an overrun graveyard in a remote area. Marie meets them there and together they look at the graves of all of Briseis’ ancestors, including Circe and Selene. They also look at Astraea’s grave, but it says she died in 1680, and as Marie is dodging Briseis’ questions about how that is possible, three men show up. Marie asks Briseis to trust her and close her eyes, and she does so as the men attack. The plants and vines grab Briseis and protect her, even attacking one of the men. Briseis’ eyes open and she watches Marie do something to the head of a man. When the plants let her go Marie looks at her with eyes that are pure black and asks her if she can keep another secret.
Back at the car Nyx is waiting for them - she had taken care of another of the men. They get in and start driving back to Briseis’ house and Marie explains that back in the 1600s she had the plague and in order to save her life Astraea used one of the Hearts, which also made her immortal. She is over 300 years old, but 17 forever. The men were after Briseis because they want access to the power of the second Heart. Briseis agrees to try to talk to the coroner the following day, while Marie will speak to Dr. Grant about what happened.
Karter accompanies her to the funeral home and inside they come to see there is a body on display, with a wilted flower arrangement. As no one else is around Briseis decides to fix the arrangement, but as she does so a man comes into the room. Lucifer Holt - Lucian Holt’s grandson. He seems to have some sort of vendetta against Marie.
Lucifer reveals to her that her family has always had an unusually high number of homicides and suspicious deaths, but that information was never what the public was told. And he seems to think that there is a good reason for this. He also tells her that Selene was shot and afterwards Circe wanted to get Briseis away from Rhinebeck, although that has clearly changed. He also tells her that Circe disappeared three years after Selene died and was never seen again.
Karter very obviously does not like Lucifer, so Briseis takes their leave, but not before Lucifer asks her to tell Marie that he doesn’t appreciate cleaning up her messes.
Back at home Briseis receives an email reply from Dr. Kent going into some more detail about Medea and how her story actually predates the Greek myth by hundreds of years, despite always being paired with Hecate. She tells Briseis her colleague once had access to a folio in the Vatican Archive thought to have been from the Library of Alexandria that contained the Medea story, but before he could decipher it the folio was either stolen or destroyed. She had attached a blurry image of the folio and Briseis realizes is matches the paper she found in the notebook when she found the key.
Taking the notebook and paper to Marie’s they enlist the help of Alec to find out what it says. As he translates Alec reads that Medea, daughter of the king of Colchis and niece to Circe, was immune to all poisons. Hey brother and protector was Absyrtus. In this early version of the story Jason appears and lies to Medea, saying her father and brother are plotting to marry her off, but if she helps him find the Golden Fleece he will stop them. When her brother eventually finds her and tells her the truth, Jason takes her brother and their three children hostage. Deciding to kill Jason, Medea tries to poison him, but he forces her children to drink the poison wine instead and cuts her brother into six pieces. With the help of Hecate and her powers, her children are saved and Medea and her children retreat to Circe’s island where she buries the six pieces of her brother in the Poison Garden.
After Alec is done translating Briseis tells Marie that she doesn’t want anymore secrets and wants to show the Heart to Marie and Karter. Nyx takes them back to her house.
Karter meets Marie and Briseis at her house and they head down into the garden as it’s getting dark. Briseis and Marie help Karter through the Poison Garden and down into the room with the Heart where Briseis decides to try to “water” it by pricking her finger and letting a drop of blood fall on the plant. When it reacts Karter freaks out and bolts, leaving Briseis to block him from getting poisoned, and as she does so Briseis slips and hurts her ankle. Outside of the Poison Garden it’s clear that Marie full on carried Karter to safety. Marie helps Briseis back to the house for she makes a poultice that relieves her pain. Both Karter and Marie go home.
- What do you think have happened to the other four Hearts?
- How do you think the Colchis family ended up with the papyrus containing Medea’s story?
- Why do you think Lucifer, Lou, insists on keeping the actual fates of the Colchis family secret?
- Why do you think Circe changed her mind about keeping Briseis away from Rhinebeck?
- Any predictions for the last section of the book?