Excerpt from Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Stories

by Wells Tower

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2009, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Hm. What about in there?" he asked, indicating Bruce’s cottage. "Who lives there? You kill them?"

"No, we didn’t," Ørl said. "They helped put Haakon back together and everything. Seem like good folks."

"Nobody’s killing them," Gnut said.

"So everybody’s back at the monastery, then?" I asked.

"Well, most of them. Those young men had a disagreement over some damn thing and fell to cutting each other. Gonna make for a tough row out of here. Pray for wind, I guess."

Brown smoke was heavy in the sky, and I could hear dim sounds of people screaming.

"So here’s the deal," Djarf said. "We bivouac here tonight, and if the weather holds, we shoot down to Mercia tomorrow and see if we can’t sort things out with this fucker Aethelrik."

"I don’t know," Ørl said.

"No deal," I said. "This thing was a goose chase as it is. I got a wife at home and wheat straw to bale. I’ll be damned if I’ll row you to Mercia."

Djarf clenched his jaw. He looked at Gnut. "You, too?"

Gnut nodded.

"Serious? Mutiny?"

"No," Gnut said. "We’re just saying we - "

"Call it what it is, motherfucker," Djarf barked. "You sons of bitches are mutinizing my operation?"

"Look, Djarf," I said. "Nobody’s doing anything to anybody. We just need to head on back."

He yelled and snorted. Then he ran at us with his sword raised high, and Gnut had to slip behind him quickly and put a bear hug on him. I went over and clamped one hand over Djarf’s mouth and pinched his nose shut with the other, and after a while he started to cool down.

We let him go. He stood there huffing and eyeing us, and we kept our knives and things out, and finally he put the sword back and composed himself.

"Okay, sure, I read you," he said. "Fair enough. We go back. Oh, I should have told you, Olaffssen found a stash of beef shells somewhere. He’s gonna cook those up for everybody who’s left. Ought to be tasty." He turned and humped it back toward the bay.

Gnut didn’t come down to the feast. He said he needed to stay at Bruce and Mary’s to look after Haakon. Bullshit, of course, seeing as Haakon made it down the hill by himself and crammed his tender stomach with about nine tough steaks. When the dusk started going black and still no Gnut, I legged it back up to Bruce’s to see about him. Gnut was sitting on a hollow log outside the cottage, flicking gravel into the weeds.

"She’s coming with me," he said.

"Mary?"

He nodded gravely. "I’m taking her home with me to be my wife. She’s in there talking it over with Bruce."

"This a voluntary thing, or an abduction-type deal?"

Gnut looked off toward the bay as though he hadn’t heard the question. "She’s coming with me."

I mulled it over. "You sure this is such a hot idea, bringing her back to live among our people, all things considering?"

He grew quiet. "Any man that touches her, or says anything unkind, it will really be something different, what I’ll do to him."

We sat a minute and watched the sparks rising from the bonfire on the beach. The warm evening wind carried smells of blossoms and wood smoke, and I was overcome with calm.

We walked into Bruce’s, where only a single suet candle was going. Mary stood by the window with her one arm across her chest. Bruce was worked up. When we came in, he moved to block the door. "You get out of my house," he said. "You just can’t take her, what little I’ve got."

Gnut did not look happy, but he shouldered past and knocked Bruce on his ass. I went and put a hand on the old farmer, who was quaking with rage.

Mary did not hold her hand out to Gnut. But she didn’t protest when he put his arm around her and moved her toward the door. The look she gave her father was a wretched thing, but still she went easy. With just one arm like that, what could she do? What other man would have her?

Excerpted from Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower, published March 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2009 by Wells Tower. 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: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • 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 ...

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 Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

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.