'A Comb of Wishes' Book Club: Day 2By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @a.o.tales
"You can’t look into those waters and not imagine what lives down there."
Welcome back to our Book Club Read-Along of A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow, our book pick from the February FINDERS KEEPERS box. In this next section, wishes are made and things don't go exactly how Kela would like.
Just a gentle reminder that this is a spoiler discussion for chapters 13 - 24 of A Comb of Wishes. If you're not caught up just yet, no worries! Come on back when you're ready to check our discussion questions and join in on the conversation.
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The Story Continues . . .
Kela wakes up knowing what she must do. She heads to the beach and takes out the comb and rakes it across the water as her heart fills with her wish, just as Ophidia instructed.
Only the comb breaks in half.
Ophidia feels both the moment when Kela’s wish is made and the agony when the comb breaks. Seafolk are not born with souls, and so they salvage them from humans and contain them in soul cages, granting them immortality. Ophidia’s soul, salvaged from a human she had once trusted, had been within that comb so she only has a short time left before her age catches up with her. Not knowing the comb broke accidentally, Ophidia swears vengeance on Kela.
Meanwhile, Kela is freaking out. Instead of throwing the broken comb back into the sea as she promised, she hopes she’ll be able to find a way to fix the comb before giving it back to Ophidia.
Kela arrives at her dad’s shop and she hears him and his business partner George arguing about the comb. Joyce has informed them about Kela’s discovery and while her dad wants to report the find to the Ministry, George wants to sell the comb for a high price. The two argue and George storms out. Kela’s father locks the broken comb in the shop’s safe and then says the worst thing a parent can say: “I’m disappointed in you.”
Later, Kela is working on some jewelry when she hears footsteps approaching.
She turns to see her mother standing in the doorway.
Kela’s wish has re-written everyone’s memory of her mother’s death, to the point where no one is surprised by her reappearance. Kela happily joins her mother for errands, overjoyed at her return. At the jewelry shop, they run into George as he exits a private room in the back.
Ophidia puts her plan into motion, coming to land as an old, scary crone. She heads into a museum and steals a megalodon tooth on display. That night, she appears in Kela’s mirror, a warning that she is coming.
Kela’s father’s shop is broken into and ransacked. Among the stolen items is the broken comb. Kela notices that her mother is not as lively as she was the day before and worries that if she can’t find the comb, her mother will be taken from her again.
Looking through her mother’s notes on seafolk, she discovers an interview from her great-great-grandmother that details a story about a man who had two children. The man’s daughter claimed to have had a “water friend” and when he asked his daughter to show him, he threw a net over the sea woman at his daughter’s distress. A fierce storm knocked the daughter out of the boat, and she was never seen again.
Ophidia remembers this same event from her own perspective, how betrayed she felt when her friend, Meera, tried to snatch her from the sea.
Kela’s mother is getting worse with each passing day and Ophidia’s threats are escalating, so Kela knows she must find a way to steal the comb back. She suspects that George stole the comb to sell, so she sneaks over to his house to check his trash for clues. She doesn’t find anything incriminating and worries that she’s lost her last chance to save her mother.
- Who do you think stole the comb, and for what reason?
- Now that the comb is broken, what do you think this means for Kela's wish?
- Kela makes beautiful jewelry using sea glass (or mermaid’s tears) and other found objects from the beaches of St. Rita. Other than reading, what are some hobbies that you enjoy?
Join us once more on Friday as we discuss the conclusion of A Comb of Wishes!
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