Excerpt from Heaven Lake by John Dalton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Heaven Lake

by John Dalton

Heaven Lake by John Dalton X
Heaven Lake by John Dalton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 451 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 2005, 464 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"What's that?"

"Teacher Vincent, we do not like you to stop the movie."

The class applauded her announcement, and Vincent set the stalled picture back into motion. Before long E.T.'s adventure on Earth took a perilous turn. When he was discovered ashen-colored and unconscious beneath a highway embankment, the entire class released a collective groan of anxiety. Later, when he died on the operating table, they were all thrown headlong into despair. Yet still, a glimmer of hope endured. A warm, pulsing light began to bloom inside E.T.'s chest.

This was a moment Vincent cherished. He was sitting opposite the class behind his desk. He was not interested in the least in watching E.T.'s resurrection or in drawing attention to its likeness to Christ's own resurrection. Instead, he studied their fascination, the fall and rise of their sentiments, watched as their unguarded expressions became charged with the naked emotional beauty women reveal only to their most intimate friends and family members. E.T. shimmered back to life and in the passing of a few heartbeats their lovely, captivated faces went from sorrow to bewilderment, to a nearly unnameable emotion that verged on reverence. At last, E.T. rose up from his sickbed, and they were swept away by wild, contagious joy.

After the movie ended, they sat stunned in their seats for a moment then collected their books and papers and filed dreamily out the door. Vincent sat at his desk and began poring over the girls' handwritten speech assignments. From the classroom next door, he could hear Jonathan Hwang leading a chorus of students through an English nursery rhyme. He also heard a polite "Excuse me" and looked up to find Trudy standing before him. She now wore a stiff black uniform, the same design and insignia that Shao-fei wore to Toulio Provincial High School.

"Teacher Vincent, I ride here to see you because I want to ask you an important question." She sat down in the empty chair beside him, quite close.

"All right," Vincent said. "Go ahead." The language laboratory was an audience of vacant chairs.

"What is your plan for Saturday afternoon?"

"Well, that's the day I grade papers and plan lessons."

"What is your plan for Sunday afternoon?"

"Well, I'm not sure now but -- "

"My family," she interjected, "is excited to meet you. So they plan a lunch dinner for you. Fish, shrimp, pig's feet, good Chinese food. I think Sunday is a good day."

"That's nice of your family, but are you sure they want to have a visitor now? I mean, aren't your parents upset about you going to a different school?"

Trudy wrinkled her eyebrows at the oddness of his question. "No, my father doesn't worry about that thing. He worries about other things. He worries about having the chance to meet you. He's very excited to meet you, Vincent. Can you make the plan on Sunday?"

It was clear he should say no, should fabricate an excuse or refuse outright, and then, in the wake of days to come, recast the visit as theory. In this form, he could ponder what would have happened but didn't with equal measures of whimsy and gratitude.

"You need to tell me how to get to your house," he said.

"My father and brother and me are coming to drive you there. We have a car," she said proudly.

"Then you need to know where I live." He reached for a piece of paper.

"Oh, I already know that, Vincent. Everybody knows where you live."

Copyright © 2004 by John Dalton

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Fire Season
    by Philip Connors
    Fire Season is an anatomy of solitude, a paean to a wild American landscape, a history of wildfires ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...
  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Lonely People
    All the Lonely People
    by Mike Gayle
    Mike Gayle's charming novel All the Lonely People introduces us to Hubert Bird, an 82-year-old ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.