Excerpt from Tethered by Amy Mackinnon, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Tethered

A Novel

by Amy Mackinnon

Tethered by Amy Mackinnon X
Tethered by Amy Mackinnon
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2009, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I must leave; I need to bring home the dead. And I don’t know how to speak to children, especially of such things. “To the cemetery, like the one across the street.”

She nods, though she doesn’t move. “But where do they all go?” Her right hand finds its way back to her hair and she begins to twirl a section near the crown.

I’m mesmerized by the motion, distracted. I wonder what she means, and then I understand. True, this is a place that inspires such questions, and each time a child passes through here, inevitably he or she asks Linus or a family member. No one has ever thought to ask me. “Some people believe that after they die, they go to heaven.”

She stops twisting her hair, her forehead wrinkled and mouth open. I’ve confused her. How to explain such a thing?

“Like perennials.” I point to a lavender flower in one of the old woman’s arrangements. “Irises lie buried during the coldest part of the year until they blossom in May. By late spring their flowers fall away, and the leaves die in the fall. All winter they lie dormant under the ground until the next spring. Then they come back to life and bloom again.”

Trecie tilts her head and looks at the stained-glass window casting garnet speckles across the far wall. She resumes her twisting. “Is that what will happen to all those people in the cemetery?”

“No.” I’ve made things worse. I try to imagine a world that would appeal to a child, a beautiful lie, and try again. “Do you have a favorite place?”

“Here.”

“Isn’t there someplace else? Somewhere special?”

“Victor took me to the Marshfield Fair once. I had cotton candy and got to see the whole town from the top of the Ferris wheel.”

“Well, heaven’s like that. You go there.”

I brace myself for more questions I can’t answer, preparing excuses and a quick exit, but she laughs, wrenching her hand free of her hair, taking several strands with it. “You’re lying!”

I start backing out of the room, my beeper vibrating against my hip with each step. “No.”

“Yes, you are. You die” - she smiles, snapping her fingers - “just like that.”

I say the only words I know to say. “That’s what some people believe.”

Trecie looks at me again, and I’m reminded of Mr. Mulrey, of being seen for the first time. “Isn’t that what you believe?”

I feel in my pants pocket for the car keys, in my blazer for my cell phone. “You may stay here, but don’t go downstairs. That’s private. Only Mr. Bartholomew and I are allowed there. Do you understand?”

She catches herself before a smile parts her lips, and nods instead. It occurs to me as I hurry toward the hearse that Trecie knows this already. She knows because she’s been downstairs.

Excerpted from Tethered by Amy MacKinnon. Copyright © 2008 by Amy MacKinnon. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. 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!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...

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

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

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.