Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1018
The narrator of Neil’s book compares everything that is happening at this point in history to a mighty storm that will soon rage out of control.
Tatiana Moskalev has lost control over her army, and it is only a matter of time before the Northern insurgents sweep in and return Bessapara to Moldova.
Mother Eve looks to her voice for guidance, which tells her that she must do something drastic or risk losing the progress she has made. She visits Tatiana Moskalev in her study, easily controlling the president’s hand and mind to make Moskalev slit her own throat with a small knife. Mother Eve screams for help.
On the surveillance footage outside the Glitter factory, Darrell and his employees spot a soldier about a mile away, taking pictures on her cell phone. Although Bernie has told Darrell he is not to let anyone know about his power, Darrell walks toward the meddling soldier, telling the women who work for him to watch. He hides and waits for the unsuspecting soldier to pass by.
Roxy arranges for Tunde to be smuggled out of the country using one of her business connections. Tunde likes Roxy, but he knows that she would never admit her feelings for him. Roxy says that a blonde woman wearing an airline hat will pick Tunde up at a bus stop before driving the eight hours to the border of Bessapara.
Roxy plans to retrieve and reimplant her stolen skein, so she kisses Tunde goodbye. At the bus stop, Tunde sees a post box. Just as the headlights of a car approach him, Tunde scribbles an address on the envelope filled with his film and notebooks.
The driver helps Tunde into the trunk and gives him a large bottle of water.
When Darrell asks Jocelyn what she is doing snooping around his property, Jocelyn pretends to be innocent. Of course, this tactic does not work, and Jocelyn knows she will have to fight this man, who shows her that he has a stronger power than she.
Jocelyn outsmarts Darrell with maneuvering she learned in the military, but just as she is about to deliver a killing blow, her power stalls. Taking advantage, Darrell quickly sends a lethal jolt into the back of Jocelyn’s skull.
Instead of cheering for Darrell, the women at the factory are now advancing toward him, chanting some incomprehensible song. Darrell realizes that the women are not pleased with his power. He runs, pleading with them as the group of nearly one hundred women approach, but they do not listen. The women rip Darrell apart limb by limb.
Roxy decides to go back to the Glitter factory after she can not get anyone there to answer the phone. The women there greet her with celebration, and Roxy wonders why she thought she would not be welcome there without her skein. One of the women leads Roxy to a storage freezer, where they have kept the pieces of Darrell until Roxy’s return.
Roxy is horrified to discover her skein, withered and lifeless among the chunks of flesh. Just after it had been taken from her, Roxy took refuge in a shed in the woods, waiting for death. After three days, Roxy realized that she was going to live after all. She believed that it was because her skein—her true “heart”—was still alive elsewhere. She thought she would know if the skein died. In this moment, looking at her rotting skein, she understands that she was wrong.
Mother Eve picks up Roxy in a city outside the Bessaparan capital and travels back to the palace with her. Once they are alone, Roxy reveals the scar on her collarbone where her skein used to be. Mother Eve traces her fingers along the scar, as she explains that this is the sign she has been waiting for. Mother Eve wants to start the apocalypse so that humanity will have to start over. Roxy tries to explain that the war needs to end, describing the atrocities she has witnessed. In this moment, Roxy realizes that Mother Eve is determined to raze civilization regardless of what Roxy thinks. Roxy tells Mother Eve, whom Roxy has always known is truly Allie, to find Allie’s former foster mother in Florida before ushering in the apocalypse.
Mother Eve goes back to the convent in South Carolina. While there, she calls Mrs. Montgomery-Taylor, now Mrs. Williams, after finding her number on a website for the children’s home she runs with her new husband.
When Mrs. Williams answers the phone, she is not surprised to hear Allie’s voice. As the conversation continues, Mother Eve realizes that Mrs. Williams purposely abused her, even instructing Mr. Montgomery-Taylor to rape her. She is horrified to learn that this woman is now in charge of dozens of fragile, defenseless children.
Mrs. Williams brags that she was one of the first converts to Mother Eve’s New Church in Jacksonville, knowing that Allie was responsible for the creation of Mother Eve. Mrs. Williams says she deleted the files on Allie, so that no one could discover the truth about Mother Eve.
This creates an existential crisis for Allie, who suddenly realizes that her ideas about the apocalypse allowing humanity to start over are mere fantasies. She realizes that she has been responsible for the suffering of others, all while believing she was doing the right thing. She understands now that people like Mrs. Williams are using Mother Eve to justify crimes against others.
Rocking back and forth on the floor, Allie has an inner dialogue with the voice. Allie asks if the voice is actually that is the “Serpent,” but the voice explains that it only tells Allie what she wants to hear. The voice seems annoyed that Allie believes life, humanity, and morality are so simple.
Allie says goodbye to the voice just before losing consciousness. When she wakes, she can no longer hear the voice, yet she knows what she must do.