Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 13

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 13

  • Mary is in shock, but she hides it. She wants to fight Sister Tabitha, but feels like she can't.
  • She finds out it happened before and after Mary was born, and it's a joint sad moment for Sister T and Mary.
  • Sister T drives the whole story home by telling Mary that her mother lost babies so many times, it seemed like Mary should never have been born. Wowza—that's a doozy.
  • Mary stays still.
  • Sister Creepy starts wrapping her wrist with the Binding Rope.
  • When she's done, she reminds Mary that she's Bound. She tells her that she needs to quit hanging out near the fences and do what she's supposed to do. She says that Mary has never been happy, despite everything Sister T's done to help her.
  • She finishes her speech with a plea that Mary prays until she gets a child and can "love outside yourself" (13.117); and she tells her that that's what her mother had to do.
  • Mary feels like a lame-o because she realizes that she's been selfish and that Sister Creepy knows more about her mom than even she does.
  • Harry comes in, and Mary hopes desperately for Travis to finally come—but he doesn't.
  • Harry gives her a black puppy, and Sister Tabitha binds Harry's wrist to Mary's and heads out.
  • Harry plucks one of Mary's eyelashes from her cheek and tells her to wish on it.
  • Mary has a flashback moment: When they were kids, she'd dragged Harry with her through a cornfield until they found a little clearing full of clover.
  • As kids, they'd spun in circles and fallen down, and then a massive rainbow seemed to shower color dust all over them. Harry had told her, "For luck, Mary. For us. Forever" (13.33). Aw…
  • Back in the present, Mary realizes that Harry is trapped too—that he still loves her and she doesn't love him back. Poor dude.
  • Mary tells him she wants to leave the village, and then the whole story about Gabrielle comes spilling right on out.
  • Harry asks if leaving will make her happy.
  • Mary is mad that Harry is not Travis, and she's mad that she can't love Harry because she's such a Travis addict.
  • Harry leans forward and tells her that if it will make her happy, he'll find a way.
  • He starts kissing her, and she wonders if Travis's kisses and touch would feel the same; she thinks about Sister Tabitha's words.
  • She realizes that she didn't choose her life—it was merely handed over to her, like smelly hand-me-down soccer cleats.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 13 Study Group

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