Study Guide

Hush, Hush Sacrifice

By Becca Fitzpatrick


I liked my freedom, and I didn't want to do anything to give my mom a reason to take a pay cut and get a local job to keep an eye on me. (2.30)

Nora's mom has sacrificed a lot since Nora's father's sudden murder. She used to be a stay-at-home mom, but after the murder, she took a job coordinating auction sales, which requires a lot of travel. At other parts of the book, we learn that it is a very demanding job with long hours, and Mrs. Grey doesn't like having to be away from her home and daughter so much. Nora doesn't seem to get the extent of her mom's sacrifice, though, and instead she just thinks about how she likes some of the liberties it affords her.

'You belong to a cult?' I realized too late that while I sounded surprised, I shouldn't have.

'As it turns out, I'm in need of a healthy female sacrifice. I'd planned on luring her into trusting me first, but if you're ready now…" (2.76-77)

It seems like Patch is making a bad boy joke. We find out later, though, that this isn't as much of a joke as it seems.

'Can you imagine?' Vee said. 'Living your whole life never having a clue that the only reason you're being kept alive is to be used as a sacrifice?' (3.82)

At this point, neither the readers nor Nora know that there are forces already at work behind the scenes planning her sacrifice. In the world of literature, we call things like this symbolism and foreshadowing, folks.

I opened my laptop and typed: The Sacrifice, two and a half stars. (3.123)

Okay, this is just for fun: Nora has to rate the movie for the eZine, but how do you think she would rate her own story about sacrifice? How would you rate it?

The phone rang and Mom stretched across the sofa to answer it. Ten seconds into the call she flopped back against the sofa and slapped a hand to her forehead. 'No, it's not a problem. I'll run over, pick it up, and bring it by first thing in the morning.'

Hugo was my mom's boss, and to say he called all the time was putting it mildly. […]

'He left some unfinished paperwork in the office and needs me to run over. I have to make copies, but I shouldn't be gone more than an hour. Have you finished your homework?'

'Not yet.'

'Then I'll tell myself we couldn't have spent time together even if I was here.' She sighed and rose to her feet. 'See you in an hour?' (14.50-54)

This passage gives offers up a glimpse of what Mrs. Grey has to put up with at work. Flopping against the sofa, slapping her forehead, and sighing all show that she is fed up with the high demands of her job, but she puts up with it any way to provide for her daughter.

'I made you think you fell off the Archangel because I wanted to kill you, but I couldn't go through with it. I almost did, but I stopped. I settled for scaring you instead. Then I made you think your cell was dead because I wanted to give you a ride home. When I came inside your house, I picked up a knife. I was going to kill you then.' His voice softened. 'You changed my mind.' (23.150)

Patch comes clean about wanting to sacrifice Nora, but he also says that Nora has changed his mind. In the past, Patch has been an impulsive, take-what-I-want kind of guy. Having another person impact him for the better and thinking of that person's wellbeing before his own desires is a change for Patch. He's shifting from wanting to sacrifice Nora to wanting to make sacrifices for her.

'There's a sacred book, The Book of Enoch,' she said. 'In it a fallen angel kills his Nephil vassal by sacrificing one of the Nephil's female descendants. You don't think Patch wants to kill you? What's the one thing he wants most? Once he sacrifices you, he'll be human. He'll have everything he wants.' (25.59)

Ta-da. This right here is a clear explanation of why Patch wants to kill Nora and how sacrificing her could help him get a human body. Good thing she changes him mind, right?

'When we get outside, we have to split up. If Jules chases us, he'll have to choose one of us to follow. The other will get help.' I already knew who he'd choose. Jules had no use for Vee, except to lure me here tonight. (29.18)

Vee is weaker than Nora, and Nora recognizes this and gives up her own safety for Vee's sake. Nora thinks of what her friend needs rather than what she needs, kind of the way Nora's mom does for her.

Tears stung my eyes. With no time for second thoughts, I threw myself off the rafter. (29.96)

This is Nora's sacrifice for Patch. Instead of taking Jules's bullet, Nora takes death into her own hands so that at least Patch can benefit from her death and get his human body.

'I didn't accept your sacrifice. I turned it down.' (30.17)

This is Patch's sacrifice for Nora: the rejection of the thing he has wanted so Nora can live. As he puts it, "What good is a body if I can't have you?" (30.19)