Excerpt from 47 by Walter Mosley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

47
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2005, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2006, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Come down here," Eloise said in a very serious tone.

I climbed down the ladder from the roof and ran through the barn and to the yard, where the young white girl stood. She wore a yellow bonnet held under her chin by a red ribbon, and a yellow dress with a flouncy slip underneath the skirt. She was eleven years old and pretty as a child can be.

I came up to her with my head hanging down and my eyes on the ground.

"Yes'm?" I said.

"Were you spyin' on me, boy?"

"I was jes lookin', Miss Eloise. I didn't know you was down here."

"Why you lookin' at your feet?" she asked. "You know it's rude not to look at someone when you're talkin' to 'em."

"I ain't s'posed to look at you, ma'am. You's a white lady an' niggers ain't s'posed to look at white ladies."

It was true. Even Fred Chocolate, Master Tobias's butler, was not supposed to look at a white woman straight on.

"You were lookin' at me from up in the barn," she said.

"No, ma'am," I lied. "I mean I looked out but I didn't know that you was there."

"That's not true," she said.

"I swear it is," I said, still looking at my feet.

"Look up at me this instant, you insolent boy," she said then.

I raised my head slowly. I had to look up because Eloise was elevated above me, on the porch. When I saw her face there was a big smile on it.

"Don't be scared," she said. "I won't tell."

My heart skipped at her kind words. I felt as if she were saving me even though it was her threats that I was afraid of.

"Do you want a molasses cookie?" she said.

"Yes, ma'am," I replied.

From a tin can on the swinging chair she brought out a big brown cookie. She knelt down in her pretty dress and handed it to me.

"Now run along," she said. "And don't worry, I won't tell that you were lookin'."

I ran back into the barn and up to my crow's nest. Mama Flore had let me taste the crumbs from cookies before but I never had a whole one, or even a proper piece. I sat up next to the window and ate my cookie, thinking of young Eloise.

I was hoping that somehow she would remember me and make me her page. That way I could always be near her and eat sugary cookies every night of the week.

That was all before I met Tall John and learned that no man or woman should serve another because that made them a slave.

From 47 by Walter Mosley. Copyright © 2005 by Walter Mosley. All rights reserved.

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.