Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 21

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 21

  • It's backtrack day, until it's time to camp. Then Mary takes her own little hike toward the original path, but there's no sign of Gabby.
  • She hears a shuffling sound and sees it's Travis.
  • He sits next to her and kisses her forehead.
  • It's like a love bomb explodes in Mary, and she needs Travis like there's no tomorrow. Literally.
  • She presses herself on him and they gulpy gulp each other's breath. Travis starts to kiss her, but then he feels the Binding rope on Mary's wrist and pulls away.
  • He gets up and starts shuffling away.
  • Mary wants to throw him against the fence and blame him to pieces for not coming for her, and she wants to beg him for forgiveness for doubting that he'd still come in the end.
  • Then she sees a peek of red in the Forest and forgets all about the Travster.
  • Gabrielle can't even walk anymore, and she's just dragging herself along the ground. As far as Mary knows, zombies don't die, they just slowly yank themselves apart.
  • Gabby is weak and pathetic, but she still has zombie-eyes and Mary still feels bad for her.
  • Poor miserable zombie—she wonders if Gabby's life is simpler now.
  • Mary realizes that death can't be stopped, that it sneaks up on you faster than you want it to.
  • Mary stomps back to camp and tells Harry to cut the Binding rope off her wrist.
  • When he does, he kisses the inside of her wrist and gives Travis the eye. You know the one—the she-is-mine stink eye.
  • The tromping along the path is endless, and everyone is starving and slower every day.
  • Mary worries that her insistence about staying on the path has doomed them all and the rest of mankind. Now that's a depressing thought.
  • They come to a square clearing with multiple gates off of it.
  • Everyone is exhausted, and Cass gives the last of her rations to Jacob.
  • Mary feels like a total loser.
  • Harry reads the letters on each gate, and this time one of them has the letters that Gabby wrote on the window: X-I-V.
  • Mary can't help herself—she's so excited that she yanks on the lever and starts stumbling down the path by herself.
  • When the others catch up, they see it too: another village.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 21 Study Group

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