Chapter 53 Summary

Three weeks after Shiva’s “transference,” Hema and Marion leave Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Thomas Stone insists on escorting them. The air is crisp and the hospital and its grounds look better than they ever have. The recent publicity led to an influx of funds for the hospital, and it is almost unrecognizable to Marion.

As the cab takes them to the airport, Marion reflects. The year 1986 was a “disaster” for their family. Hema believes it has something to do with the numbers, for 1 is the number of birth and 8 is the number for destiny. The Challenger exploded on January 28 (first month, eighth day), and the Chernobyl accident followed eighty-eight days later. Shiva died on the eighteenth. He...

(The entire section is 772 words.)