Excerpt from This Human Season by Louise Dean, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

This Human Season

By Louise Dean

This Human Season
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Feb 2007,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2008,
    384 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


‘Souvenir?’ he asked her.

‘Is it one of yours?’ she asked. ‘One just like that was fired into the face of my neighbour’s boy. Fifteen years old. His mother’s only son and now he can’t even feed himself.’ One of the soldier’s boots came through the ceiling into the living room and a shower of brown dust came shooting down. ‘Jesus, Joseph and Mary! And what if this was your own mother’s home?’

‘My mother didn’t raise a terrorist,’ said the soldier by the door to the hallway, leaning back, looking casual. He was tall, his back was straight, his eyes blue. He was in his twenties, smart in his uniform, his beret poised. There was a light white powder in the air. When her husband made to go into the kitchen, the soldier told him to sit down.

Those who’d been upstairs came clattering down the narrow stairway, one after the other until most of them were in the front room, filling it entirely, with two more in the hall. A shorter man stood in the doorway with his hands up above his head holding on to the frame.

‘Clear, Sarge,’ he said to the soldier at the sideboard.

This man, their sergeant, took a last look around the living room, taking in the vases and knick-knacks on the sideboard and mantelpiece, a small pale blue Madonna, a large conch sea shell, a few dark-coloured glass vases with gilt lettering, place names, a maple-leaf shaped piece of wood with ‘Canada’ carved on to it.

‘You’ve got a nice home, Mrs,’ he said. ‘One of the cleanest I’ve been in anyway. Any chance of a cup of tea for the lads?’

‘Go fuck yourselves,’ she said.

Her younger son stood up beside her, the shoulders of his small frame rose and fell; with his mouth open, he was like a baby bird wanting to be fed.

‘Starting him off young, are you?’ said the sergeant. ‘That’s what you call infantry, that is.’ He threw a look at the handsome soldier.

Kathleen pointed towards the door.

‘Out, yous!’

They were in no rush. The sergeant took another look around, clapped his hands together, strolled across to the stairwell and gave the order. His men started to move themselves, gather the guns. The last one out was the handsome soldier, who looked up at the framed poster of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic on his way and tutted. He tipped the barrel of his rifle at the wife, touching her very lightly at her throat, where her dressing gown crossed. ‘I bet you were one of them who used to be nice to us, once.’

Her cheeks flushed, Kathleen went to the front door to close it after them. She saw that the porch light had been smashed in. ‘Ach for God’s sake!’ she called out, and started to shove the jarred door with fury and hurt. ‘Harassment, that’s all it is,’ said her husband, coming up behind her, his voice growing as they watched the men going down the path and through the front gate. ‘To keep us in our place . . .’

‘And what are you going to do about it?’ she said, turning to him.

He had a moment to look at her, her face backing into the new daylight, her neck stretching, a space between utterances, and he said nothing, paused between difficult things.

And then she was moving. ‘Go up and get yourselves dressed,’ she yelled at the children. ‘Can’t any of you do anything without me telling you?’

‘Why did they come round here, Mummy?’ said Aine, a brown envelope and a pen in her hands; she’d been sitting drawing pictures while the soldiers were there.

‘Will you up and get yourself dressed, Aine, please. Don’t make me say it again.’

‘They’ll be back again soon enough anyway.’

Copyright © Louise Dean, 2005

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

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

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  119Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson
  2.  171The 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.