Study Guide

Breath, Eyes, Memory Book 3, Chapter 18

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Book 3, Chapter 18

  • When Sophie and Ifé return from the market, it's Atie's turn to go. Ifé warns her that the Macoutes are attacking Dessalines, the coal vendor, and that she should wait.
  • But Atie's not interested in changing her plans. She says she has a lump in her calf that requires medicine. This is news to Ifé.
  • Sophie and her grandmother spend the day cooking the beans that they bought at the market. The boy with the kite comes to visit them and hangs around.
  • By dinnertime, Atie hasn't returned. Ifé feeds the young boy (called Eliab) and two others who have dropped in.
  • Grandmè Ifè asks Sophie why she left her husband so suddenly, and if there were any problems between them. Sophie decides to be honest and tells Ifé that sex is painful for her.
  • She also says that although Joseph is a good man, she has no sexual desire for him. Ifé zeros in on the problem immediately and asks if Martine ever "tested" her.
  • Sophie tells her that it was humiliating and made her hate her body. She feels shame in showing it even to her husband. Her isolation drove her to make the trip to Haiti.
  • Ifé ends the evening by telling the story of a lark who fell in love with a beautiful little girl. He gives her a pomegranate in exchange for being allowed to look at her.
  • Soon, he gives her two pomegranates for allowing him to kiss her. Finally, he asks if she wants to go to another land with him. She reluctantly agrees, and gets on his back to make the journey.
  • As they fly over the sea, the lark tells her that in their new land, there is a king who will want her heart. The clever girl tells the lark that she has left her heart in her village.
  • They will have to return to get it if the lark thinks she'll need it. So the lark brings her home—and of course, the little girl runs to her family and abandons the creepy lark.
  • Atie returns shortly after, but refuses to read anything to Ifé when she requests it.

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