Special Sub-Topic: A Wrinkle In The Skin
|The protagonist in the book is Matthew Cotter. Where is he living at the beginning of the story?|
Guernsey. Matthew lives on the Channel Island of Guernsey.
He makes a living from growing tomatoes for export. When the earthquakes strike the island, his home and greenhouses (and a quarter of a ton of freshly picked tomatoes), are flattened.
|The first living thing Matthew finds, the day after the disaster, is "Cobweb." What type of creature is she?|
Donkey. Cobweb is the only survivor of four donkeys who have lived in "Miss Lucie's field" for years. All the local children used to come and bring them treats.
One of the others survives the initial shocks but is badly injured so Matthew uses one of his precious shotgun shells and puts it out of its misery.
|When Matthew and Billy meet up with the first small group of survivors, what injury does Andy have?|
Broken leg. The first person Matthew and Billy meet is the "religious fanatic" who is raving and insane. They get away from him as quickly as they can, and Matthew actually resorts to throwing stones to drive him away.
When they come upon Miller's 'gang' they are wary but relieved to have found people they can join up with for the safety in numbers.
|As Matthew and Billy walk to England across the sea bed, which of the Channel Islands do they find "riven almost in two" from the force of the earthquakes and tsunami?|
Alderney. Matthew had hoped that Alderney, being a plateau, would have been spared the worst effects of the devastation and have survivors, but they found no-one left alive.
The damage is described "as though a giant meat axe had slammed down across the island..."
|After their encounter with Captain Skiopos, what is the only item of food that Matthew and Billy take away with them when they resume their journey?|
Chocolate biscuits. Their sojourn on board the stricken tanker is perhaps the most surreal episode of the entire book.
Captain Skiopos is quite obviously mad, but Matthew and Billy just cannot resist the lure of clean clothes, hot baths, and soft beds. They are also overjoyed to be able to eat properly for a while, having thought that bread and butter etc would be impossible to come by for the forseeable future.
|Which of the following things do Matthew and Billy NOT encounter on their walk across the sea bed to mainland England?|
A (dead) parrot in a cage. It takes Matthew and Billy several days to walk across the sea bed from Guernsey to England.
Matthew in particular keeps getting a "feeling" and dreading the sea rushing back in to drown them.
At this point in the story they don't know where the sea went, and where the new coastline is.
|As Matthew and Billy approach the mainland they find a sign advertising "TEAS, PICNIC BASKETS, ICE CR." Which Harbour was it washed out from?|
Poole. They end up opposite Poole Harbour in Dorset and realise they are too far West. Matthew was aiming for Bournemouth so he can look for his daughter Jane. He is convinced she will have survived and that he will find her.
When they do make landfall, Bournemouth itself has gone, and only the "contour of the land" remains to show where they are.
|When the thugs catch Matthew and Billy on their way back to the New Forest, what disease does Matthew say Billy has, in order to make the gang leave him alone?|
Plague. Billy actually has the flu, but Matthew tells the gang members that there were another two members of their party who died, and describes the symptoms of plague.
This makes the gang leave them alone, although they take most of their supplies from them.
|What does Lawrence say he will teach Billy when he gets back from looking for Jane?|
Medicine. Lawrence is a doctor and knows how important it is to pass on as much knowledge and skills as he can to Billy, for the future.
|When Matthew and Billy are heading back 'home' across the sea bed, they hear a voice calling to Billy. Who does it turn out to be?|
Archie. Matthew had given up hope of ever finding Irene, Lawrence and the rest of their friends again.
It is almost like a miracle when they realise that it really is Archie calling to them.
While Matthew and Billy were off looking for Jane, Irene and the others decided that Guernsey sounded a much better prospect for the future than the mainland, and headed off there, rather than up into the mountains.
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