Excerpt from Raising Wrecker by Summer Wood, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Raising Wrecker

A Novel

By Summer Wood

Raising Wrecker
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2011,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 2012,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


That suited Len fine. He came looking for remote and he found it, a sweet little forty-acre spread at the end of a dirt road the county quit fixing after the first ranch and behind four gates he had to get out and open, move the truck through, then climb back out and shut to keep the cattle from wandering off their range. He didn’t keep cows, himself. Couldn’t abide them. He had a hunting rifle his father gave him when he left Tennessee twenty- odd years before, and he rarely had to go farther than his own wood lot to bring down a deer. One animal would keep them through the winter, and one more let him trade with the fishermen up in Eureka. Every summer Meg kept a garden, and Len had his cordwood business and the little lumber mill to bring in some cash. Of course, that was when Meg had been well. Len felt the worry squeeze the box of his ribs. This was the first time he’d been out past dark since her accident.

The third gate was Bow Farm, and Len eased down to push the rickety thing aside. He peered down the rutted track that led to the farm house. There’d been stories of trespassers chased off the land by women bearing shotguns. In the stories they were always big women. Big shotguns. Len had lived next door long enough to have figured out that the girls weren’t all that big, or half as threatening. They weren’t nuns, or Amish, or cult members, or all sisters with widely ranging fathers, as the rumors had variously claimed— and since the tree hugger had joined them, one of them was a man. Len had to hand it to them. Nobody thought they’d stick, coming up here from the city, paying too much for that run- down spread. It was too hard a life. Too wet in the winter and hot in the summer, too many earthquakes and landslides and wild animals who shrieked and snarled in the night. But they were into their third wet season, Willow and the others, and they had saved him, in a way. He didn’t know if he could have borne the heartbreak of Meg’s decline without their help.

The fourth gate, left open when he pulled out that morning, was his own. A single light on in the house poured its yellow into the yard. Len opened the truck door and smelled the wet dripping off the trees. Everything was damped- down and quiet. The road quit here in his driveway. Past that were dark trees and steep hillsides and a five- mile hike to the sea.

Len hadn’t told anyone quite where he’d gone, or why. He’d asked Willow to stay with Meg until he got back, and he could see her sitting at the kitchen table, her back to the door. He glanced sideways to make sure the kid was asleep but caught sight of the boy’s round face, his open eyes. Len swore slightly under his breath. He couldn’t count on this one to stay put. He crossed around the front of the truck to the passenger side, scooped the boy against his chest, and carried him like a loose sack of grain into the house.

Willow lifted her head to greet him. She cut an elegant figure, with her honey hair swept up like a movie star’s, her pearl earrings, those flat shoes that made her feet look dainty— not the clodhopper boots Ruth and that Melody girl favored. She was the only one of the bunch to put on lipstick, and anyone could tell she wore a bra. Not that Len was looking. Not exactly. He met her gaze and brushed past Willow to lay the sleeping boy onto the couch by the wood stove. Then he crossed the floor, boards squeaking underfoot, to find his wife asleep in the single bedroom.

Meg’s face in the muted light was peacefully asleep. Len felt a wave of love and revulsion. It was easy to confuse Meg’s new blankness with peace, but blank was blank. Blank was blank was blank. If the old Meg was trapped in there, Len had no way to get her out. The old Meg was peaceful. She had never talked much but there had been a calm, an ease to her that Len felt comfortable to be around. She was competent and even- tempered and had a way of running a hand under his shirt and up his spine that tingled the base of his brain and made him yearn, without reason, for the chill and tart flavor of raspberry sherbet. She had always been a modest woman, and now, quite simply, she was not. Len did his best to satisfy her but for him the plea sure had gone out of that part of his life. He felt for the wedding band on his left hand. Fifteen years grown into the flesh of his finger, they would have to cut his hand to get it off. Though why would they. There was no need. Len and Meg. Meg and Len. Even their names were similar, brief and to the point, the consonants crowding the short e. Len. Bed. Meg. Fed. Pen. Leg. Red.

Excerpted from Wrecker by Summer Wood. Copyright © 2011 by Summer Wood. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted 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
    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...
  • 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 ...

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.  163The 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.