Study Guide

Breath, Eyes, Memory Book 1, Chapter 3

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Book 1, Chapter 3

  • Tante Atie takes Sophie to her Grandmè Ifé's house in La Nouvelle Dame Marie—five hours away—so she can say goodbye before heading to New York.
  • We learn that Martine had sent money to have Ifé's house fixed up, so it's much nicer than the other houses in the area.
  • Sophie's grandmother's very happy to see her and promises to cook all the things that she likes to eat. She reminds Sophie that a mother is always your first friend.
  • Sophie has trouble sleeping, because she expects to have that nightmare where her mother snatches her from Tante Atie.
  • They leave the next day, so that Sophie's grandmother won't suffer "chagrin"—which Sophie defines as an actual disease you can get from emotional upset.
  • Sophie asks Atie if a person can die of "chagrin"; Atie says that it's not a sudden illness, but one that takes you apart piece by piece. It just happens.
  • Atie tells Sophie about Guinea—a version of heaven/the otherworld—and people there who hold up the sky with their heads. Those who have trouble in this world are these sky-bearers.

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