Excerpt from Lucky Strike by Nancy Zafris, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Lucky Strike

By Nancy Zafris

Lucky Strike
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Apr 2005,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: May 2006,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Yes, Mom," Beth said.

"I guess so," her mother said. "You didn't tell me this part,"she added to Harry.

"I'll pay," Harry said.

"No. It's not the money. It's the work we have to do."

"Oh," Harry said.

"What work is that?" the lady asked.

"All the preparations Harry was so kind to explain to me."

"That's Harry," the lady said. "Honey, I do have weekly rates. You're just as likely to find uranium under one of my beds as in those hills. And it's a good ways more pleasant."

"Exactly what I was trying to explain. You're more succinct," Harry said.

"Of course I am, Harry."

"I think one night will do fine." Her mother shifted and her foot landed on the tail of a tabby cat. Both her mom and the cat jumped.

"Out, skedaddle," the lady ordered. "Don't mind him. He's been run over twice."

"Is he your kitty?" Beth asked.

"That one? No, darling. Wild as they come. Except the two cars have knocked it out of him a bit."

"How does he eat?"

"I have some guests who take care of that."

"And these folks are all the way from Ohio," Harry said.

"Lordy," the lady said, shivering her body.

"Can we go swimming?" Beth asked.

"Absolutely," the lady said. "That's the first thing I meant to say."

Beth saw her mother hesitate.

"I have bathing suits they can borrow," the lady said. "I keep a pile going. Some are pretty nice. Got one that would fit you, too."

"That's very kind of you."

"I like kids." She stopped for a moment and then she gave Charlie a big smile, probably because he had been silent and ignored all this time. She seemed like someone who wanted to make sure everyone was having a good time. "Mine are 17 and 18." She snapped her fingers, said "like that," and shook her head. "And I can wash their clothes while they're swimming."

"I'll be happy to do the washing if you show me where."

"Your choice," the lady said. But in the end she took all their clothes and gave them a good wash in her own personal machine. Beth put on the borrowed swimwear and jumped in the pool. Charlie quickly joined her. He was not one to give up the water. He did a racing dive in the deep end and stayed under and didn't come up until he was in the shallow end where three old ladies sat around a table in seashell metal chairs, painted yellow, green, and blue. They had set aside a card game and were having their drinks. Snatches of their conversation came to Beth, died of a stroke at what age? here it's Saturday and I thought it was Thursday. The tabby had returned and was hanging around the old ladies' feet. Beth looked over at her mom, lounging nearby in a borrowed bathrobe, and she looked pretty content. Oh that reminds me of Betty. Someone should let him know.

The lady manager in the bib overalls came out with a net attached to a long pole and she fished out the dead insects from the pool. "There," she said with satisfaction. "So you kids can get a proper swim." She returned with a tall drink for her mom, and popsicles for her and Charlie.

Beth stayed in the water until Harry came back from stocking up his truck with supplies. He asked if they wanted to go out to eat supper in a restaurant. "Let's go out," he said. "Do you want to go out?"

"Have you eaten at all today, Harry?" her mother asked. Her voice took on a concerned warning, but Beth knew she was avoiding an answer. Out here with no one she knew and no one to contradict her, her mother was building this new life and pretending to live it. Harry insisted about the dinner and her mother finally said they were all too tired which Beth knew meant Charlie, but of course she wasn't going to correct her and say but I'm full of energy! Her mother had told her these things were private.

From Lucky Strike by Nancy Zafris, pages 26-37 of the hardcover edition.  Copyright Nancy Zafris 2005.  All rights reserved.  No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Unbridled Books.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  158The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.