51 pages 1 hour read

Miriam Toews

Women Talking

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2018

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Part 5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 5: “June 7: August Epp, After the Meeting”

Part 5 Summary

August hides in the loft, listening to the voices of Neitje and Autje and the Koop brothers as they kiss and laugh. He hears the girls tell the boys to close their eyes, and then he hears nothing. When Salome calls him from his hiding place, he sees her, the girls, and the motionless Koop brothers: Salome has sprayed them with the belladonna spray used to anesthetize the women, making sure the brothers can’t inform the men until the women are safely on their way. She then tells August she has also sprayed her son, explaining that just as she would carry a child out of a burning house, she is carrying him away from the colony to save his life. Salome admits she sprayed Scarface Janz after finding out she was planning to go to the city to tell the men of the women’s plans. August agrees to spray the boys again if necessary.

Salome tells August that Peters kept the belladonna spray in his barn, and August wonders what his intentions were in this. As Salome says she must hurry, August reminds her that the women are not fleeing but leaving. She agrees. Then August tells her that they must never return.