Updated November 15, 2013
Our adult, female protagonist, Audra, is introduced. This chapter must establish that Audra is a magical wish-granter whose job is to clean the coins out of a small, unremarkable local fountain each night. She is fed up with the vain and selfish wishes of people and regrets that she cannot make a wish for something great, noble—or not having to grant people’s wishes anymore.
Unable to pick and choose which of the wishes would come true, Audra sets about her work begrudgingly granting wishes.
“Stars above and earth below, what this wisher wishes know, and grant her greatest heart’s desire, with earth and water and air and fire.”
After years of doing the same magic, Audra begins to long for something more and question her being. The chapter introduces her struggle to balance the important role she plays in giving others hope and the needs and desires she has for freedom.
As the introductory night ends, she gathers up the coins and sets out into town to give them away.
Considerations for writers: What are the rules for granting and not granting wishes? How long has Audra been doing this? Her whole life? Alone?
In this chapter, we introduce Otis, an indigent man who lives near the fountain. Each day, Otis watches passerby throw coins into the fountain and wish for a better life. Otis, on the other hand, is a cynic because he has no coins to throw in the fountain. Otis does, however, enjoy in part the freedom he has to roam.
Considerations for writers: Provide a solid character study in this chapter. Why does Otis believe that people make their own luck? How does his reality as a homeless person reflect this belief?
The chapter starts with Audra back at the fountain hopping around granting wishes as they call/sing to her. Here we learn that granting wishes has some limitations. Wishes cannot bring back the dead or inflict harm on the wisher (in the case of a daughter wishing for her belligerent father to return). It seems implied, also, that wishes cannot change a person’s nature—they cannot make a person fall in love with another or become kind and loving, when they are damaged, hurt, and vengeful. Neither can the wishes bend reality too much. For example, it cannot be Saturday for just one person, while everyone else is on a weekday. A wish-giver might, however, influence a person’s work schedule so that his/her weekend, in some way, starts now.
Despite the troubles introduced in Chapter One, Audra seems to be elated by helping people in this Chapter. Unfortunately, as the night wears on we see, once again, that she is tired and can’t help but contrast the happiness that is being granted to others with the emptiness she feels. There is allusion to the fact that Audra is not as strong as she used to be (falling often and getting sick easily), but it is not understood why.
Audra begins to think about how she could have her wish come true. She knows that she cannot grant her own wish, but she begins to wonder about other fountains and other wish-givers who might be able to grant her wish.
Considerations for writers: Allude to Audra’s desire for companionship, and to her increasing hopelessness that she will ever find this type of fulfillment.
As wish-givers lose hope, they become weak and can eventually die. This chapter should begin to allude to a decline in Audra’s health as she loses hope.
Otis a poor man, seemingly alone, is introduced. He has a (currently unexplained) fascination with the fountain and all the hope that people put into their wishes. Struck with insomnia and hunger, Otis contemplates the fountain and walks to the window, seeing Audra down in the fountain scooping up coins.
Audra and Otis meet at the fountain. She perceives him as handsome, painless, and young man. She, being magical, is still quite young looking despite her implied age. She addresses him as “child” and he feels he is being mocked. He interrogates her. Why is she “stealing” coins? Does she believe in wishes? Otis’ criticism puts Audra on the defense and she talks about the importance of hope.
In the end, Otis poses one last cynical question: Why do you care about others’ wishes, anyhow?
Audra confesses her powers.
Considerations for writers: Consider more in the early chapter development. What build-up should there be before Otis considers the fountain? Why does Otis, a new character, care so much about the fountain. What is his home environment like? Does he have a home? Is it shelter? Is it a couch of a stranger? OR did he break into an empty apartment? Give us more background.
This chapter aims to explain the origin of wish-givers.
A littler girl, Mila, after the loss of her brother wishes to give her mother peace. A small witch arrives and agrees to grant the girl’s wish, but only if Mila and all her descendants agree to a life of servitude granting wishes.
Considerations for writers: How was “peace” granted to Mila’s mother? Consider the general rules of wish granting laid out in Chapter Three? How does Mila’s life develop? How are wish-givers tied to fountains, wells, or trees? Why are wish givers alone?
What is the role of wish-givers? What is the curse? This chapter should end with the lingering question: Where are all the other wish-givers? (Note to authors: Wish-givers die when they or others lose hope this should be left to be revealed at the end of the book.)
Audra is again at her fountain after a night of wish-granting. She sits beside the fountain and has a mini-breakdown. She cries and begins wishing for companionship — for someone who understands her plight. This chapter should emphasize Audra’s loneliness and her longing to meet other wish-givers to gain perspective.
Otis observes Audra silently.
It is in this chapter that we introduce an antagonist, Jerzy, who was a wish granter at a fountain which was destroyed in the 1940s. He somehow survived and now steals wishes from fountains all over the world in the hopes that he can find a fountain whose caretaker will hand over his/her responsibility to him to give his life purpose again.
Considerations for writers: What prompted Audra’s breakdown? What was the build-up to this moment. She needs a trigger.
FLASHBACK: A glimpse into Otis’s past and why he has little or no hope. His loss relates to loss of family and/or abandonment. Otis is a middle-aged, non-magical human.
We learn that Otis has become cynical after the tragic loss of his family. He relives a few very brief moments, and then is pulled back into thinking about Audra and protecting her.
Considerations for writers: We should get a stronger sense of everything Otis had before it was taken away. How was the situation manipulated to the point that he no longer felt he had any control over his life? These can be built in at the beginning of the chapter, maybe as dreams.
There are still some questions lingering about his character. Where is he from? Why is he homeless? Why doesn’t he believe in wishing?
The next day, at the fountain, Otis spends a considerable amount of time observing Audra. Considering his feelings for her and the reality that she may be magic. At one point, he receives a wishing coin from a young boy who doesn’t need it. Eventually he tosses the coin into the fountain, muttering something. Did he make a wish?
Meanwhile, Jerzy is in the process of convincing Audra that she should give up her fountain and head on an adventure to make her wish come true.
Considerations for writers: Why is it so difficult for Otis to believe that Audra is magic? What reasons does Jerzy give Audra to convince her to leave? How does Otis feel about Jerzy as he watches him with Audra?
This chapter is dominated by some philosophical discussion between Jerzy and Audra about their wishes, if they could have them come true. It is unclear whether Jerzy’s intentions are pure.
Audra decides to leave her fountain with Jerzy while she travels to other fountains to obtain insight and perspective from other wish-granters at other fountains to see if they can help her. She hopes that her wish for companionship will come true if she wishes it in another fountain.
Jerzy gives Audra his “lucky” coin to take with her to try her luck at wishing in another fountain when she feels the time is right. However, the coin was stolen and has some negative magic about it that Audra can sense but can’t interpret.
Considerations for writers: The chapter ends as Audra sets off on her journey. At the last moment, Otis decides to follow her. Why? What does Jerzy do at Audra’s fountain when she leaves? Chapter Twelve authors mention that he shows hints of his mischief prior to her leaving her fountain, what clues can you work into this chapter to show that Jerzy may have a darker, insincere side?
Audra takes a long bus to Las Vegas, seeking out the wish-giver of the Bellagio Fountains. She is weakened by the journey and as she is about to faint a man catches her and helps her. She realizes that Otis has followed her. She is angry at first for the pertinence of their previous interaction, but she comes to be thankful for his company.
They set out together, Audra’s healthy continually deteriorating. They look for the wish-giver at this fountain so Audra can ask him/her questions about finding purpose/companionship. Audra again becomes weak as they approach the fountains and as she lays streetside, in Otis’s arms, trying to recover, Narda—another wish-giver—finds them and is filled with concern.
As quickly as she appears, Narda is off, but only after giving a key piece of advice to Audra. Otis and Audra continue to the Bellagio Fountains, but Audra is immediately overwhelmed with the size and the consequent difficulty she will have in finding the wish-giver for this fountain. Her doubt and concern is interrupted by someone’s wish at the fountain. A couple wants a child.
Considerations for writers: How do they find the wish-giver? Is Narda the Bellagio wish-giver? What kind of person is s/he? How did s/he obtain this position? Does s/he have thoughts on the loneliness of the wish-granter position? Keep in mind that in the next chapter they have an appointment with the Bellagio wish-giver.
Audra is enthusiastic about her journey and this first meeting; she is especially eager for time/privacy to make a wish for herself with Jerzy’s lucky coin. However, the opportunity to make a wish does not present itself. Audra begins to feel a bit hopeless—and weak.
Audra and Otis have their appointment to work with the Bellagio Fountains wish-giver to grant a wish. The wish is a challenging one, even for a wish-giver at the Bellagio Fountains. The wish, from a young military widow, Leslie, is to have a child, even though her husband was recently killed in Afghanistan. As the three consider how to go about granting the wish, the readers are taken back to the moment when Leslie made the wish.
Considerations for writers: How Audra comes to know about the nature and conflict within Leslie needs to be developed. How will the wish be granted?
The wish-giver here is exhausting. In what ways? Chapter 12 alludes to the Bellagio wish-giver’s evasiveness in giving directions and help about where to go next.
After the wish has been successfully granted, they learn a life lesson and get advice on where to go next in search of answers. What life lesson will be learned? Their next stop is Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.
Audra and Otis travel to Buckingham Fountain, (Chicago, Illinois). They must find the wish-giver at this fountain so Audra can ask him/her questions about finding purpose/companionship.
They find King Buck, the wish-giver, at the fountain scolding one of seahorse statues in the fountain. He is a wizened old fellow with a lot spunk and a humorous grumbling nature. Not only is he the wish-giver, but he is also responsible for keeping the fountain running.
In the meantime, Jerzy is holding down the fort at Audra’s fountain. And we find that he is violating one of the main principles laid out in Chapter 3 about wish-granters only doing good. He is granting wishes, but not always for the better. His darker side is showing now that there is no one there to stop him. Jerzy then begins to reflect on his own nature.
Considerations for writers: How was the journey from Las Vegas to Chicago? What were the pair contemplating, if anything during this journey. Future writers can feel free to fill these details in at the beginning of the chapter.
Regarding King Buck, how did s/he obtain this position? Does s/he have thoughts on the loneliness of the wish-granter position? What places and information does he give Audra and Otis as they tour the park?
Buck alludes to the fountain thief and that the fountain is his birthright. What other details could be added regarding this information. Consider adding in details to these passages with different color text for each author.
How is Audra’s health changing in this chapter?
Audra and Otis work with the King Buck to grant a woman’s wish to become pregnant, but it is not a wholesome wish. Together they have to work together to gather clues and see about granting the wish.
Audra’s health begins to decline because she doesn’t feel as though she is getting the answers she came for. She and Otis head to Scott Fountain in Detroit.
Considerations for writers: The previous fountain also hosted a wish regarding pregnancy. Since this one is a bit of an unwholesome wish, what might be a another desire that would have similar negative qualities? Consider leaving edit ideas as comments or even including passages within the text, but with different color text for each author. Additionally, since Otis is a non-magic being, how is he able to get insight into the wish-maker’s intentions?
Regarding the wish, Who wished it? Why was it so dark? If they grant the wish, how do they grant it?
Audra’s health begins to decline because she doesn’t feel as though she is getting the answers she came for. She and Otis head to Scott Fountain in Detroit.
Audra and Otis travel to Scott Fountain, Belle Isle Park (Detroit, Michigan) by bus. As the arrive to Belle Isle, the happiness that Audra witnesses inspires again her loneliness and her spiraling hopelessness that her wish will come true. As they approach the fountain, there is an old man seemingly waiting for her. He’s Graver.
Considerations for writers: What kind of person is the wish-giver? How did s/he obtain this position? Does s/he have thoughts on the loneliness of the wish-granter position? This is particularly important to consider as Audra’s loneliness seems heightened in this chapter. This chapter should end by positioning Audra and Otis for finding and granting a wish with Graver.
This chapter opens with a father wishing for his daughter to laugh again. We then see how, shortly after the child is sprawled in the grass being licked and loved by a stray dog—and giggling.
Considerations for writers: How do Audra and Otis work with the Scott Fountain wish-giver to grant this wish? How did they decide to listen to this man’s wish.
Elaborate on the life lesson learned. How can Audra get advice on where to go next in search of answers to her questions about wish-givers and how her wishes can be granted.. They head to KC Plaza Fountain in Kansas City.
Audra and Otis travel to KC Plaza Fountain (Kansas City, Missouri). There, they meet Simon, a rhyming wish-giver who warns them about Jerzy, who has been known to “steal” the wishes of other people and grant malicious wishes. Audra’s health continues to decline as she struggles to find a reason to live.
Audra and Otis find an old coin beside the fountain, and realize that it will help them to learn more about Jerzy. Through a series of clues, they begin to see vignettes of Jerzy as a poor child.
Considerations for writers: Why did Jerzy have such a sad childhood? Can Jerzy’s story provide some perspective to Audra to help her find a reason to live?
Simon invites Audra and Otis to grant a wish at his fountain. Audra is immediately drawn to an intense man who is making one of the most powerful wishes that she has ever encountered. Readers get a fractured glimpse of the man’s wish . . . a car accident . . . a bloodied baby . . . the man believes it is his fault . . . The man wishes to trade his life for those of those lost in the car accident.
Suddenly, the man disappears and a woman holding a little girl’s hand suddenly appears in his place. Audra realizes that Otis is too close to the situation, and knowing the wish may break him. She becomes weaker.
It is revealed that Otis was a wish-giver in the past. He feels guilt about the blood on his hands that resulted from a man celebrating a wish-come-true and killing the woman and child in a drunk-driving accident — a woman and child that happened to be Otis’ wife and daughter. Otis cannot tell Audra about his sadness because she is weak and he feels it will kill her.
Considerations for writers It would be helpful to further clarify the events in this chapter. Did Otis’ wife and child die, or are the woman and child in the chapter symbolic to Otis? Provide more details about the man who caused the accident, about Otis’ previous life as a wish-granter, and why he renounced this life. Also, how do Otis and Audra decide to head to San Francisco?
Audra and Otis arrive at Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco, California. Audra realizes that a homeless-looking woman is the wish-giver at the fountain. Immediately recognizing Audra as another wish-giver, the woman, Daisy, thinks that Audra is trying to take her fountain. Once it has been established that Audra only wants to talk, the woman settles in to tell her a story about Jerzy and her personal history.
Daisy is the daughter of a wish-giver who left home at an early age, struggled with homelessness, found a fountain she enjoyed and became a mentee to Moriel, an old wishgiver who tended to the wishes of those that came to it. Moriel was Daisy’s mentor until she eventually got her own fountain. Jerzy was also Moriel’s mentor.
Jerzy was assigned a remote fountain and granted wishes irresponsibly because he felt cheated. For example, if a child wished for a puppy he would provide it despite knowing the child was allergic to dogs. The town began to believe that Jerzy’s fountain was cursed and they destroyed it.
Considerations for writers It would be great to provide some additional information on what Jerzy did after his fountain was destroyed, including why he wants so badly to take over others’ fountains.
Audra wakes up thirsty and exhausted. She is not sure if she has found what she is looking for in this journey.
Audra decides to grant a wish for a businessman broken in spirit from years of a declining company. His wish: jobs for his fired employees. Audra confers some of her magic to Otis and Otis finds himself dressed in business attire talking to the wish maker, Jason, on a park bench. He suggests that Jason reach out to a celebrity environmentalist to help fund his business, and feels an inner warmth that tells him he has helped to grant Jason’s wish.
The Vaillancourt Fountain wish-giver, Daisy, warns that Otis may “never be the same”.
Considerations for writers: What does Otis learn from his wish-granting experience? How does his stint as a wish-giver affect him? How do Audra and Otis decide to go to the next fountain, and why? At the end of the chapter, Audra and Otis must head to Swann Fountain in Philadelphia.
Audra and Otis travel to Swann Fountain, Logan Circle (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). They see a group of children playing at the fountain with their teacher. Audra realizes that the teacher is the fountain’s wish-giver, and he takes his class here once per year to make wishes. Unfortunately, the wish-giver is a bit cynical. He talks about the contradictory nature of wishes — if one person wishes that her best friend will love her, and another wishes that a new girl will fall in love with him, the wish-giver can make these wishes come true with some pain.
Audra find out that the wish-giver had once believed himself in love with another wish-giver. However, the old wish-giver was just using him to escape her fountain. Audra reminds the wish-giver that people are responsible for changing their own lives. Wishes are all well and good, but people must take control of their own destiny and be careful what they wish for.
Considerations for writers: We love the idea of being careful what you wish for. It may be interesting to talk about why the wish-giver is so cynical, how he became a teacher, etc. Are there any other anecdotes that the wish-giver can share about being careful what you wish for, or the lasting effects of wishing for something? How does this apply to Audra’s life? To Otis’ life?
Audra and Otis scope out Swann Fountain for a person worthy of having their wish granted. They soon see a 16-year-old boy, Vincent, who wishes to run up the “Rocky” steps, but has not been able to do so because he suffers from cerebral palsy. Otis calls the Make A Wish Foundation (even though the boy is not dying) to convince them to help him bring the boy to the fountain.
At the same time, Audra gets in touch with scientists at Penn State who specialize in neural problems, and meets a Dr. Nicholas for lunch. She brings the doctor to the fountain (which makes Otis jealous), and Dr. Nicholas suggests providing Vincent with biofeedback therapy to help him climb the steps in no time.
While the group considers how to get the money to pay Dr. Nicholas’ doctor friend for this therapy, a well-dressed man approaches them. He announces that he is a new wish-giver that has been transferred to this fountain, but he tells Audra and Otis that Dr. Nicholas may be over-promising a positive outcome.
Considerations for writers: How do Audra, Otis, Dr. Nicholas, and the new wish-giver get Vincent to run up the Rocky stairs? Who is this new wish-giver, and what happens to the teacher who was the previous wish-giver at Swann Fountain?
After the wish has been successfully granted, Audra and Otis head to Brewer Fountain in Boston. Talk about why they decide to go there.
As Audra and Otis approach Brewer Fountain (Boston, Massachusetts), it becomes clear that Audra is not feeling well. They see a black-haired man at the fountain who may be the wish-giver. Otis and Audra decide to grab some food at a local diner and the waiter looks like the black-haired man. In the street later, Audra and Otis see a man playing guitar who Audra believes looks the like man, as well. The food, the music, and Otis’ company seem to give Audra strength.
When Audra and Otis finally meet the black-haired man as the wish-giver at the fountain the following day, he begins telling them how wish-givers are connected to their fountains.
Considerations for writers: Why and how are wish-givers connected to their fountains? How did the black-haired man (named “Bruzer” in the next chapter) come to be a wish-giver? How and why is he able to morph into different characters, and will this help him to heal Audra? Does he have the answers she is looking for?
End the chapter by talking about how Audra and Otis came to be at Bruzer’s fountain.
Bruzer invites Audra and Otis to help him grant a wish of omission. Essentially, this type of wish is made by someone who is so caught up in the habit of their routine that they’ve forgotten to wish for something better.
Bruzer imagines the person who made this non-wish. It is a businessman, Larry, who lost his family three years ago and is contemplating taking his own life. Bruzer sends a new neighbor (Cindy) to the man to provide him with hope and companionship. Audra and Otis wonder if Larry deserved a second chance.
Towards the end of the chapter, Audra is drawn to a coin in the fountain and has a transformative experience. She wonders what happened, and Otis alludes to the fact that he knows and will tell her in the future.
Considerations for writers: It would be great to dig more deeply into Larry and Cindy’s story. How did Larry lose his wife? Where did Cindy come from? Why wouldn’t Larry have deserved his wish to come true? Dig in to the life lesson that Larry learns and show how this helps to teach Audra and Otis something.
Provide more description about what happened when Audra picked up a coin from the fountain and heard many people asking for their wishes to come true. Finally, why (and how) does Bruzer suggest that Audra and Otis head to Washington Square Park?
Audra and Otis arrive at Washington Square Park Fountain (New York City, New York) after being directed there by a prostitute names Lolita. The wish-giver, Sacro, looks like a saint in this dark place. Sacro is a peaceful presence who invites Audra and Otis into his personal space. He mentions that intuition grows stronger with solitude, and that is how he knew that they were coming to visit. Audra and Otis have different reactions to Sacro’s thoughts about loneliness and service to others.
Audra sees Sacro as a sage, and herself as a seeker of wisdom. Otis withdraws from the conversation and realizes that Sacro is just as crazy as he and Audra. Everyone has their own ways to deal with problems and wishes.
Considerations for writers: Explain if Sacro really is a fraud. Do Sacro and Lolita get together in the end? Why doesn’t Lolita reveal herself to Sacro? Why doesn’t Otis reveal Sacro as a fraud?
Still at the Washington Square Park Fountain, Audra and Otis see a businessman throwing some coins into the fountain. Sacro, the wish-giver, mentions that the man simply wished that the coins would stop jingling in his pant pocket. He, along with Audra and Otis, decides to help this man see the simple pleasures of life beyond his obsession with money. They look beyond his exterior and hatch a plan to awaken the man to the simple pleasures of everyday life — including to potentially set the scene for the man to fall in love with his wife again.
Audra and Otis meet the man’s wife, Jill Okray, at her office (pretending to be potential clients) and realize that the two have a daughter, Amanda, and a son, Tim. Amanda is trying to get home but having some trouble. Tim is ill, but Mr. Okray and Jill are not seeing eye-to-eye on his prognosis.
Amanda comes home and Audra and Otis wonder if they have managed to grant Mr. Okray’s wish. At the same time, Audra has a revelation in the rain.
Considerations for writers: How does the Okray family mend itself? Why was it so important for Amanda to come home? What was Audra’s realization?
After the wish has been successfully granted, Audra and Otis must head to WWII Memorial Fountain in Washington D.C. Why do they decide to go there?
At the WWII Memorial Fountain (Washington D.C.), Audra reminisces about her own father who was a member of the military. Otis, who may have been a Vietnam veteran, says nothing. Audra and Otis then notice a man sweeping coins from the fountain, and believe he is the wish-granter, Salem. Audra notices Salem’s aura of peace and begins asking him questions about how he lives his life so happily. Salem notices that Audra and Otis like each other.
Salem talks about becoming a wish-giver and the importance of hope. Otis thinks about Audra in a romantic way and wonders if he can fill the void in her life.
Considerations for writers: What kind of person is Salem? How did he become the wish-giver of this fountain? Does Salem have a tie to veterans? Was Otis a veteran? Does this provide any insight into Otis’ character? How does Otis’ and Audra’s relationship progress?
Audra and Otis work with Salem, the WWII Memorial Fountain wish-giver, to grant a wish a little girl’s heart made. The little girl wants her doll to keep her father company while he is away in the military.
Audra realizes that she must complete her journey back to her own fountain alone. Otis makes her lose focus. She tells him she will stay with Salem to encourage him to leave, and then she asks Salem one more question.
Considerations for writers: Develop the story of the little girl, and why her father is lonely. How can Audra, Otis, and Salem grant this wish? What is the meaning behind it?
What is Audra’s final question for Salem before heading back to her fountain alone?
Audra is very sick, and notices that she has aged over the course of her journey. She has lost all hope of finding companionship and the answers to her questions, but she heads home, regardless, as she has nowhere else to go. On the bus back to her fountain, Audra falls asleep and experiences scary dreams — notably of Otis drowning. Upon awakening, Audra finds herself facing a young boy (5 or 6 years old), who tells her that her fountain is worth fighting for and gives her a compass to help her find her way back to hope.
Audra gets off the bus and changes direction — finally heading back to her fountain on foot. A man named Matthais picks her up in his car and takes her to his home to rest. Audra has weird dreams of Otis and then sets off again the next morning with her compass. Meanwhile, Otis dreams of Audra and realizes that he made a mistake in leaving her.
Considerations for writers: Where is Audra now? Is she almost home? After traveling with Otis for so long, does she miss him? What is Otis doing?
On the brink of death from loss of hope, Audra finally realizes that Otis has been her strength throughout this journey — and that her purpose in life is to maintain her fountain. She confronts Jerzy, who falls apart a bit when he realizes how difficult it is to
‘play God’ and decide on whose wishes should be granted, and whose should not.
Considerations for writers: How does Otis find his way back to Audra when she makes the realization that he has been her continued strength? Writers should help Otis to emphasize to Audra that she’s already found a family and companionship. She’s no longer alone.
Together, Audra and Otis are empowered to go back to Audra’s fountain and gain control from Jerzy. How do they do this? Where does this power struggle leave Jerzy?
Epilogue: Audra and Otis are back at Audra’s original fountain in good health. They work together to clean the fountain at the end of every night and they grant people’s wishes. They are happy in the companionship that they have found together, and even share the load with Jerzy.
Audra and Otis realize they are in love. A woman appears from the coins in the fountain. She informs Audra and Otis that she was all of the wish-givers they met throughout the book.
Considerations for writers: What changes when Audra and Otis fall in love? How does the mysterious woman tie the book together?