We have more questions than answers with this week’s section of The Between, but we are loving the story Tananarive Due is crafting.
If you are just now joining us, we are up to chapter 23 in our discussion this week. You can click here to see last week’s discussion if you’d like! (If you want to hop in, we are finishing up The Between for a final discussion next Sunday.)
The Ladies of Horror Fiction team has come up with some discussion questions, and we’d love to hear your thoughts as well!
1. What do you think the significance of the children’s names have to what’s happening in the story so far?
Emily: In all honesty, I’m not sure about the name stuff & whether or not it will have significance. I am useless.
Jen: I think the names are supposed to make us nervous about the safety of the kids. It’s working!
Lilyn: I think it’s obviously supposed to feel significant, given everything we’ve learned. If it’ll actually be significant… time will tell.
2. Do you think one or both of the children is/are in danger of dying? Why or why not?
Emily: Yes, I think one of the children will probably die. My guess is Kaya based on her being in the dreams and whatever is going on with the warnings that she couldn’t have been born.
Jen: I think Kaya will live, but I don’t feel like everyone in the family is safe.
Tracy: Honestly I think one or both of them are in danger of dying. Kaya has a “special” name for protection, but Jamal doesn’t.
Lilyn: I think there’s been more page time focused on Kaya than Jamal, so he feels like the disposable child here. Why spend a lot of page-time on the one you’re going to off so that the more important one survives? Could be wrong, though!
3. What do you think is happening with Hilton and all the times he thinks something happened or that he did something that turns out not to be the case?
Emily: I think that Hilton is traveling between parallel universes. It feels so much like Fringe!
Jen: I agree with Emily. I think he’s moving between “doors” in his sleep, and he doesn’t yet know how he’s doing it.
Tracy: I think Hilton is jumping from possible timeline to possible timeline. Think Back to the Future when Biff messes with the past and there’s an alternate future.
Lilyn: I think possible timelines, like Tracy. However, I think it’s really interesting that so far he appears to be doing it only at the point in which he would have died in his particular timeline. (The drowning, the crash, etc.)
4. Do you think anyone was really there at the end in his backyard?
Emily: I feel like someone was in the backyard…but on the other hand, maybe not. It’s the perfect set-up to make him seem crazy, so I’m thinking someone was there.
Jen: I think the other guy is walking in and out of a “door”, and he was there for a moment in the backyard.
Tracy: I don’t know. Hilton is so far out of it that I wouldn’t be surprised either way.
Lilyn: I think there was. I’m not sure who, but I think there was. Ooh, or maybe he was having flashes from the other timeline!
5. Why, do you think, Kaya is able to dream-walk without having had a death/near-death experience like Hilton, Raul’s patient and Grandma?
Emily: I really have no idea why Kaya can dream walk. Maybe it has something to do with her possibly dying like I mentioned above, but I don’t really have any guesses on it since she doesn’t have that in common. Maybe the fact that she shouldn’t have been born is close enough to a NDE for this?
Jen: I’m not certain Kaya hasn’t had a near death experience. Hilton has had some wild dreams, and I’m wondering if we have seen glimpses of other “doors” where Kaya perished.
Tracy: Perhaps it’s her special name that allows her this leeway.
Lilyn: *putting on Yoda-like expression* Supposed to live she wasn’t, mm. Special she is, mm. That which is not supposed to exist cannot be bound by the rules of this world’s Force.
Nobody’s chasing us away from our home.
He was changing, in small pieces. He was losing himself.
Every day I look at you in the mornings and I can barely remember who you are.
There’s no joy in fucking the dead.
I thought it was all for you, but I left you a curse, not a blessing.
I don’t think I’m really awake sometimes.
We are very excited to have you guys reading The Between along with us. We would like to host another a giveaway as a thank you for joining in!
Prize: We will be giving away one copy of a horror book written by a woman author (to be announced at the end of the readalong!) to one randomly selected participant.
How to enter: Comment on our discussion posts throughout The Between readalong to be entered into the giveaway. You will receive one entry each week you join in. In your comment, share your thoughts on the current week’s section of The Between, share your favorite quotes, or post a link where we can find your thoughts on the current week’s section.