Excerpt of Home Front by Kristin Hannah
(Page 6 of 8)
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According to Zarkades family legend, the decorations had spoken to
Michael's mother instantly, who swore that once she walked down Front
Street, she knew where she wanted to live. Dozens of quaint storesincluding the one his mother ownedsold overpriced knickknacks to
It was less than ten miles from downtown Seattle, as a crow flew, although
those few miles created a pain-in-the-ass commute. Sometime
in the past few years, Michael had stopped seeing the Norwegian cuteness
of the town and began to notice instead the long and winding drive
from his house to the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island and the stop-and-
go midweek traffic.
There were two routes from Poulsbo to Seattleover land and over
water. The drive took two hours. The ferry ride was a thirty-five-minute
crossing from the shores of Bainbridge Island to the terminal on Seattle's
The problem with the ferry was the wait time. To drive your car
onboard, you had to be in line early. In the summer, he often rode his
bike to work; on rainy days like todaywhich were so plentiful in the
Northwesthe drove. And this had been an especially long winter and
a wet spring. Day after gray day, he sat in his Lexus in the parking lot,
watching daylight crawl up the sides of Mount Rainier and along the
wavy surface of the Sound. Then he drove aboard, parked in the bowels
of the boat, and went upstairs.
Today, Michael sat on the port side of the boat at a small formica
table, with his work spread out in front of him; the Woerner deposition.
Post-it notes ran like yellow piano keys along the edges, each one highlighting
a statement of questionable veracity made by his client.
Lies. Michael sighed at the thought of undoing the damage. His
idealism, once so shiny and bright, had been dulled by years of defending
In the past, he would have talked to his dad about it, and his father
would have put it all in perspective, reminding Michael that their job
made a diff erence.
We are the last bastian, Michael, you know thatthe champions of
freedom. Don't let the bad guys break you. We protect the innocent by
protecting the guilty. That's how it works.
I could use a few more innocents, Dad.
Couldn't we all? We're all waiting for it...that case, the one that matters.
We know, more than most, how it feels to save someone's life. To
make a difference. That's what we do, Michael. Don't lose the faith.
He looked at the empty seat across from him.
It had been eleven months now that he'd ridden to work alone. One
day his father had been beside him, hale and hearty and talking about
the law he loved, and then he'd been sick. Dying.
He and his father had been partners for almost twenty years, working
side by side, and losing him had shaken Michael deeply. He grieved for
the time they'd lost; most of all, he felt alone in a way that was new. The
loss made him look at his own life, too, and he didn't like what he saw.
Until his father's death, Michael had always felt lucky, happy; now, he
He wanted to talk to someone about all this, share his loss. But with
whom? He couldn't talk to his wife about it. Not Jolene, who believed
that happiness was a choice to be made and a smile was a frown turned
upside down. Her turbulent, ugly childhood had left her impatient with
people who couldn't choose to be happy. Lately, it got on his nerves, all
her buoyant it-will-get-better platitudes. Because she'd lost her parents,
she thought she understood grief, but she had no idea how it felt to be
drowning. How could she? She was Tefl on strong.
He tapped his pen on the table and glanced out the window. The Sound
was gunmetal gray today, desolate looking, mysterious. A seagull floated
past on a current of invisible air, seemingly in suspended animation.
Excerpted from Home Front
by Sarah Hannah. Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Hannah.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.