A great deal happens in this section of the novel as we approach the end of the text and its climax. Chapter Twenty begins with the dramatic news that Angie has almost died by taking a drug overdose. Miles argues with his mother about Angie and then goes to her house and makes a completely ineffectual attempt to cheer her up. She clearly has mental health issues and feels suicidal. In Chapter Twenty-Three she writes Milles a letter apologizing for her behaviour when he visited her, but his happiness at receiving the letter is immediately undercut by the news that his mother is leaving to stay with her sister in Seattle. Miles does not seem too upset, because he is staying near his beloved bay. Florence’s health continues to decline and Miles is present in Chapter Twenty-Two when Florence is visited by Julia Winslow from Adult Protective Services, who has come to assess Florence’s capabilities around the home. Winslow provides Florence with all sorts of gadgets to make her life easier, but Florence admits to Miles in Chapter Twenty-Five that she is frightened that she will end up in a home.
In the public arena Miles visits the cult compound in Chapter Twenty-One, having agreed to have a chat with the cult’s leader, Delia Powers. In fact, he has been tricked because their conversation takes place on a stage with an audience of Eleusinians. Miles takes the opportunity to explain his enthusiasm for the sea and its fascination, because humanity knows so little about it; he also quotes Rachel Carson at length. It is clear to the readers that the Eleusinian cult see Miles as some sort of prophet: Delia Powers tells him, “God is definitely with you.” (166) Worse is to come as a newspaper reporter is present, and her report starts a national media frenzy about the “child prophet” to the extent that Skookumcheek Bay becomes a tourist destination with people convinced that the water of the bay and its mud have curative, restorative powers. Chapter Twenty-Five ends with Miles looking forward to the BioBlitz – a survey of the bay’s botany and biology which will start soon.