Excerpt from The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

The Rug Merchant

by Meg Mullins

The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins X
The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2007, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I know. Especially when I'm excited. I'll try to speak. . .more. . .slowly." She winks at him.

Ushman smiles. It is true that she speaks quickly, but he has understood everything she's said to him. He wants to prove this.

"There must be something that lasts. Something that is indelible," Ushman says.

"Not that I know of. But I will let you know if there's anything in the next lecture to give us hope."

"Please do. Now," Ushman says with authority, "let's get some take-out food and watch the eclipse in Queens."

"Take-out Fantastic. Can we get Chinese?"

Ushman nods. She's like an exuberant child. If she weren't so charming, so wide-eyed and genuine, he'd be suspicious of such enthusiasm.

"In the little white cartons? I love that. My parents aren't fans of Chinese food, so we never got take-out when I lived at home. This- you, here, Chinese- is the beauty of leaving home," she says with genuine affection.

"Indeed," Ushman says, imagining the freedom she must feel. Ushman never left his parents' home. Not until he came to America. He never lived in Iran without the dread of his mother around every corner. Even when he was a newlywed, when his mother was confined to her bed, she was still there. Her smell, her voice coming at them through the dark, her hair that had to be brushed. "I never. . ." He starts to tell Stella this and then changes his mind. "I never ate Chinese food until I came to New York."

Stella looks at him. He senses that she knows it is not what he was going to say. She looks away from him, out her window, as if she isn't interested in anything inauthentic.

"It's true. Okay, one time in Istanbul there was an old man selling egg rolls from a cart. I was with my father and he bought us each one." He recalls eating the exotic treat out of waxed paper as together they watched oil barges lumber down the Bosporus.

"And?"

"A little greasy, but good."

"There's a Chinese place on the corner across from my dorm."

"I know," Ushman says, remembering her face through the big glass window and the boy she had hugged. "I mean, I saw it when I picked you up."

"The crazy thing is that they also have fried chicken, hamburgers, and club sandwiches on the menu. Who goes to a Chinese restaurant for a burger and fries?"

Ushman shrugs.

"I find it very suspicious. There should be a police investigation. Maybe sociopaths are identifiable as those people who order burgers at a Chinese restaurant."

Ushman laughs. "But the proprietor puts it on the menu. They shouldn't make the offer."

Stella raises her eyebrows. "Now you're onto something. We can blame it on insecure restaurateurs. They are the sociopaths."

Ushman laughs. "Maybe. It is worthy of study, right?"

"Absolutely. Does your Chinese place serve American food?"

"No," Ushman says. "Not even soda. Only tea."

"I like the tea you made. With sugar cubes between our teeth."

"I am happy to make you tea."

  • 1
  • 2

From The Rug Merchant by Meg Mullins.  Chapter 10, pages 117-121 of the hardcover edition. Copyright Meg Mullins 2006. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Viking.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...
  • Book Jacket: Fortress America
    Fortress America
    by Elaine Tyler May
    In Fortress America, Elaine Tyler May presents a fascinating but alarming portrait of America's...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Force of Nature
    by Jane Harper

    A riveting, tension-driven thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    As Bright as Heaven
    by Susan Meissner

    A story of a family reborn through loss and love in Philadelphia during the flu epidemic of 1918.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G O T P, B The P, F T P

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.