This Poison Heart Readalong Day 7!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @capricorn.reads
Welcome back to the final 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 26-31 of This Poison Heart, so make sure you read are finished the book 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 concludes...
The next morning Briseis’ ankle is sore but workable and after breakfast it’s time to do some cleaning. In the apothecary as she’s dusting her rag gets caught on something on the wall and when she pulls it a door opens to another secret room. Calling for her moms, they go inside to discover an alter to Hecate that also has a picture of Briseis as a baby on it. As her mom calls her Aunt Leti who knows some about this kind of thing, Mo and Briseis discover a full family tree, starting with Medea, leading all the way down to Selene, Circe, and Briseis.
Leti needs to look into something, so until they hear back from her they leave the room. Briseis decides it’s time to tell her parents most of what has been going on.
After Mo leaves to travel back to the city to check in on the flower shop, Karter appears at the house in distress. He insists that Briseis and her family need to leave and tells them that he knows about the Living Elixir and how much danger that puts them in. Briseis’ mom tells him that he needs to leave just as Dr. Grant arrives. After he’s gone, Dr. Grant asks Briseis just how much she knows about Karter. Although he was born in Rhinebeck, he didn’t go to school there and the book shop has only been open for six months. Also, the tags on his truck say it belongs to a man who died two years ago. Dr. Grant also reveals that she was friends with Selene and knew how she died.
After Dr. Grant leaves Briseis goes back to the apothecary and starts to clean up the alter, but soon Mrs. Redmond arrives, looking quite worse for wear, and tells them that there was a mistake and several years of taxes are owing and they need to vacate the house immediately. They are being evicted and need to hand over the keys. Briseis’ mom tells her to leave but she insists she’ll be back with the police to remove them. When she’s gone, Briseis takes all the eviction paperwork in a Lyft to town and visits any banks to see if she can get more information. She eventually finds one and in a private meeting the bank manager tells her that there was no will leaving Briseis the estate, and in fact the paperwork she has with her is invalid because it went missing.
The branch manager explains that when Circe was declared dead back in January the house was going to be put up for auction, but a representative of Briseis’ adoption agency informed them that Circe has a living relative. Briseis was supposed to have received the the documents several weeks ago but the person handling them didn’t come to work, and recently her body had been found nearby with foul play suspected. It was Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Redmond’s friend. The eviction notice was fake.
Getting the bank manager to call the police and Dr. Grant, Briseis then tries to call her mom but gets no answer. She calls Mo, who is on the way back, but also hasn’t spoken to her mom in a while. She tells Mo everything she learned about Mrs. Redmond not being who she says she is, and that she doesn’t think the letters Circe wrote to her wore from Circe at all, but from Dr. Redmond.
Briseis takes a Lyft back to the house and as she desperately searches for her mom she finds a note telling her to look outside. Mrs. Redmond has her mom held at knifepoint. She forces Briseis to take them to the garden or she will kill her mom. Having no choice, Briseis leads the way and when they get there Mrs. Redmond reveals that she is a descendant of Jason. She confesses that she forged all the letters from Circe, save the map, and that she had tried to enter the garden herself. She also confesses that she was the one to kill Mrs. Taylor to get the paperwork. Mrs. Redmond thrust the butt of the knife into Briseis’ mom’s head and she crumples to the ground. Holding the knife above her mom’s heart, Mrs. Redmond demands that Briseis give her the Heart. She needs it because she believes her forefathers still walk the earth and she wants to join them in immortality.
Demanding to be taken to the Heart, she warns Briseis that if anything happens to her Mo will suffer the consequences when she gets home. She also tells her that it was she and Karter who orchestrated the attacks in the theatre and graveyard, and that she knows about Marie. Prodding her forward they quickly make their way through the Poison Garden and down to the Heart. Mrs. Redmond notices she hasn’t fed it, and cuts open Briseis’ palm, pouring blood over the plant. The Absyrtus Heart begins to beat.
Forcing Briseis to pick the Heart, which causes immense pain, Mrs. Redmond marches them out of the garden back to her mother, who has regained some consciousness. Briseis is barely able to carry the Heart. Back at the house Mrs. Redmond takes Briseis into the apothecary and ties up her mom. She gets Briseis to retrieve the oleander as Karter arrives with more supplies and locks the door. Mrs. Redmond has Briseis grind the Heart and add more special ingredients. Using the same power she used with Dr. Grant’s father, she transforms the mixture into a blood red elixir.
The Living Elixir. Deciding enough is enough Briseis dives for Mrs. Redmond and knocks her down as the vial goes flying. She admits to murdering Selene and then stuffs Briseis’ mom’s mouth full of oleander, killing her. Mo slams through the door and Briseis loses control. With her anger and grief, she gets the plants and vines to trap Karter and Mrs. Redmond. Then suddenly, as Karter tries to flee after escaping the plants, a large black dog followed by a towering person in a black cloak enters. It’s Hecate. She creates a void that the dog throws Mrs. Redmond into and tells Karter to leave and never return. Hecate reveals that she was in fact the mother of Medea and Absyrtus and although she cannot bring Briseis’ mom back to life, she can stave off permanent death for a full moon cycle. If Briseis can find all six parts of the Absyrtus Heart in that time she can save her. Hecate takes her mother and leaves through the void.
Afterwards Dr. Grant, Nyx and Marie come to the house. With the vial of elixir and Marie they have two parts. How to find four more? Briseis takes a minute to herself to cry when she hears a commotion in the front room. A woman has appeared, accusing Dr. Grant of not being careful enough. It’s Circe and she has returned with two more of the parts.
- What an ending! What surprised you the most?
- Do you think Karter is truly now out of the picture?
- What do you think Briseis will have to do to locate the missing parts?
- Why do you think Circe chose to come back right at that moment?
- What was your favorite part of the book?
- Any prediction for book two?