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The Blind Assassin

  • Study Guide

Part VII

Summary Part VII

Summary: The steamer trunk

Present-day Iris receives a copy of a new edition of Laura’s novel, which is now praised as a significant contribution to literature. Iris looks over a collection of notebooks, a manuscript, and first edition copies of the novel. She reflects on how, over the years, scholars and researchers have reached out to try and get more information about Laura and the novel, but she has always refused them. She also reflects on Sabrina and her regret that she doesn’t have a relationship with her own granddaughter.

Summary: The Fire Pit

In the present-day narrative, Walter drives Iris to Toronto so she can meet with her lawyer. Then, he takes her to a restaurant where Iris has been before. Years ago, Iris used to follow Sabrina around in order to keep an eye on her and once followed her to the restaurant. Afterward, Iris asks Walter to drive her to the house where she once lived with Richard.

Summary: Postcards from Europe

It is almost wintertime for present-day Iris. She reminisces about the eight weeks she and Richard spent in Europe for their honeymoon. During the honeymoon, Iris often feels isolated and embarrassed. When they return to Toronto, they move in to a large and fashionable house that Winifred set up in their absence. Almost immediately, Iris gets a phone call from Laura, who frantically explains that their father died a week after Iris left. Laura has been trying to phone and send telegrams the whole time, but Richard intercepted these and kept the news from Iris. When Iris confronts her husband, he explains that he was trying to protect her from grief and worry.

Summary: The eggshell hat

Iris rushes back to Avilion, where Laura explains that their father shut himself in his room and Laura found him dead when days passed without him emerging. Laura thinks Norval drank himself to death upon learning of the permanent closing of all the Chase factories. Iris realizes that after the marriage, Richard went back on the terms of the deal, and the Chase business was consumed anyway.

Summary: Besotted

In the wake of Norval’s death, Richard decides that Laura will come to Toronto to live with him and Iris. Reenie is getting married and moving on to a new life stage. Avilion will become their summer home. Richard has also arranged for Laura to start attending a proper school. Back in Toronto, Iris finds that she has little to do in her new life since Winifred and Richard largely treat her like a child and make all the decisions. One day, while Iris wanders around Toronto aimlessly, she runs into Alex Thomas on the street.

Summary: Sunnyside

On the day that Laura is due to arrive in Toronto, she doesn’t appear, and no one seems to know where she has gone. After a few days, Richard and Iris alert the police, and the media catches on to the story. Finally, someone calls in to report that Laura is working at a local amusement park. Richard first ensures that a cover story will be issued to explain her disappearance, and then he and Iris go to retrieve her. Laura returns home without protest, explaining that she was enjoying the simple life she was leading. In private, Laura explains to Iris that she believes Richard is responsible for the death of their father, and she doesn’t want to feel that they are dependent on him. Iris soothes her sister.