50 pages 1 hour read

Tana French

The Witch Elm

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2018

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Chapters 11-13

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary

Toby returns to Ivy House, texting Melissa to inform her of Hugo’s passing. He feels guilty about the death and experiences nightmares in which he kills Hugo. Melissa comes to Hugo’s funeral but refuses to attend the repast at Ivy House. She acts distant around Toby, and the crowd of people, sounds, and smells overwhelm Toby. Toby’s father comments on how lucky Hugo was to die without experiencing painful symptoms. Toby remains at Ivy House after Hugo’s funeral. He considers confessing to murdering Dominic but ultimately accepts Hugo’s final act of protection. He struggles to understand a potential motive for himself, so he invites Susanna and Leon to dinner, intending to interrogate them again. Toby asks them about the weeks leading up to Dominic’s death, wanting his cousins to recover his lost memories.

Susanna finally confesses to killing Dominic. Dominic sexually harassed and assaulted her multiple times in the months leading up to his death. He attempted to sexually assault her once, but Hugo (seemingly unknowingly) interrupted Dominic. Susanna and Leon confided in each other about Dominic’s behavior. Leon implored Susanna to report Dominic to the police, but the officials turned her away when she couldn’t produce evidence.