A Tangle of Knots Summary & Study Guide

Lisa Graff
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Tangle of Knots.
This section contains 664 words
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A Tangle of Knots Summary & Study Guide Description

A Tangle of Knots Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff.

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff, takes place in a fictionalized version of the world. Most of the population is born with something that’s referred to as a Talent. A Talent is one particular skill that a person has which they are perfect at, even without any prior training. The story opens with a young man named Mason. Mason has just inherited a fortune from his mother. He has the inheritance in a rare suitcase, one of 36 that were made. He takes the train to New York, but the suitcase with the inheritance is stolen.

The story jumps ahead more than 50 years, introducing a slew of new characters. The first are Cady and Miss Mallory. Miss Mallory runs an orphanage, where Cady has been staying for the last few years. Miss Mallory has a Talent for helping people to find exactly what it is they’re looking for. She uses her ability to pair children up with their perfect parents, but she hasn’t been able to find anyone for Cady. Cady has the Talent to cook the perfect cake for anyone. She’s been entering a local competition where she’s been able to win against even professional cooks.

The next characters that are introduced are the Asher family. Marigold is a middle child who is struggling to find her Talent. Her younger brother, Will, has the Talent to disappear, while her older brother, Zane, has the Talent to perfectly aim his spit.

Marigold is upset because she can’t find her Talent. Will is upset because he craves adventure. Zane is upset because he is having trouble at school. His principal called him worthless and wrote a letter to his parents suggesting that Zane be sent to a different school. The family is also taking care of someone named V, a woman who has had a stroke and is unable to speak. Before Zane’s parents can read the letter from the school, there’s an accident at the apartment, inadvertently caused by Zane.

The family ends up moving into an Emporium, run by a mysterious caretaker called, The Owner. The Owner is eventually revealed to be Mason from the beginning of the story. Mason has been stealing other people’s Talents. He’s also been collecting the rare suitcases, determined to find his inheritance, which is the recipe for the perfect peanut butter. His son, Toby, works for him. Toby is distraught because many years previously, he lost his wife and daughter in Africa.

Toby ends up running into Cady at the orphanage, and he feels a strong connection to her. Miss Mallory feels that connection as well, and Toby ends up adopting Cady and bringing her to the Emporium. Meanwhile, Mason has finally found the suitcase containing the recipe, but before he can use it Cady finds it. She makes the perfect peanut butter and gives it to Mason, who demands the recipe. She hands it over, but Mason discovers that the recipe isn’t enough, he needs Cady’s Talent for baking, the same one that his mother had.

While Mason is making the peanut butter, the Asher family is dealing with their own problems. Will accidentally gets sent to New Jersey. Marigold and her mother set out to track him down. They eventually get to a museum where Marigold discovers that her mother used to be an archeologist, and she has the piece of a very rare fossil that has been missing for years.

While everything is happening, a mysterious merchant manipulates each one of the characters, arranging it so each one is led to the convention center where Cady’s baking contest is taking place, and where Mason is trying to steal her power. The Asher family comes to her rescue and stops Mason from getting her gift. Afterwards, they discover that Toby was always Cady’s father. Toby inherits the Emporium, and all of the characters decide to stay together.

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