Study Guide

A Monster Calls Chapter 21

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Chapter 21

No Tale

  • That night, Grandma takes Conor home while his mom sleeps in her hospital bed. 
  • At 12:07, the monster comes, and Conor goes outside to ask if it can heal his mom.
  • The monster says that if anything will work, it will be the yew tree medicine.
  • Which is not an answer, of course. Why, Conor asks, if the monster can tear down houses and go from being a tree to a monster at will, can't he save Conor's mom?
  • The monster says Conor still doesn't get it. He doesn't understand why he summoned the monster at all.
  • Conor says he didn't summon the monster unless it was in a dream, in which case he totally did so to heal his mom.
  • No, says the monster, Conor summoned him because he needed to tell someone the truth.
  • His grandma's yard drops away, and suddenly he finds himself inside his nightmare.
  • And we finally see a glimpse of what it's about: the edges of the world are crumbling away, Conor's holding a woman's hands, and can't hang on. He feels the woman fall.
  • No no no, Conor tells the monster. He wants the monster to get on with the third story; wants to know what's going to happen to his mom.
  • No story tonight, though. The monster tells Conor to look for him soon, then vanishes in a gust of wind.

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