Excerpt from Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

Stories

by Maile Meloy

Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2009, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2010, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Show me what?”

“The ranch,” he said. “The cows.”

“I have to get back,” she said. “I have to work in the morning.”



“Sure,” he said. She checked her watch. “Jesus, it’s quarter to ten.” She took a few quick bites of sundae and finished her coffee. “I have to go.”

He watched as the low lights of the Datsun disappeared out of town, then he drove home in the other direction. Thursday was not very far from Tuesday, and it was almost Wednesday now. He was suddenly starving, when sitting across from her he hadn’t been hungry. He wished he’d taken the other half of the sandwich, but he had been too shy.

Thursday night, he was at the school before anyone else, and he waited in the truck, watching. One of the teachers showed up with a key, unlocked the side door, and turned on the light. When more people had arrived, Chet went to his seat in the back of the classroom. Beth Travis came in looking tired, took off her coat, and pulled a sheaf of paper from her briefcase. She was wearing a green sweater with a turtleneck collar, jeans, and black snow boots. She walked around with the handouts and nodded to him. She looked good in jeans. “KEY SUPREME COURT DECISIONS AFFECTING SCHOOL LAW,” the handout said across the top.

The class started, and hands went up to ask questions. He sat in the back and watched, and tried to imagine his old teachers here, but he couldn’t. A man not much older than Chet asked about salary increases, and Beth Travis said she wasn’t a labor organizer, but he should talk to the union. The older women in the class laughed and teased the man about rabble-rousing. At nine o’clock the class left for beers, and he was alone again with Beth Travis.

“I have to lock up,” she said.

He had assumed, for forty-eight hours, that he would go to dinner with her, but now he didn’t know how to make that happen. He had never asked any girl anywhere. There had been girls in high school who had felt sorry for him, but he had been too shy or too proud to take advantage of it. He stood there for an awkward moment.

“Are you going to the café?” he finally asked.

“For about five minutes,” she said.

In the café, she asked the waitress for the fastest thing on the menu. The waitress brought her a bowl of soup with bread, coffee to go, and the check.

When the waitress left, she said, “I don’t even know your name.”

“Chet Moran.”

She nodded, as if that were the right answer. “Do you know anyone in town who could teach this class?”

“I don’t know anyone at all.”

“Can I ask what happened to your leg?”

He was surprised by the question, but he thought she could ask him just about anything. He told her the simplest version: the polio, the horses, the broken bones.

“And you still ride?”

He said that if he didn’t ride, he’d end up in a wheelchair or a loony bin or both.

She nodded, as if that were the right answer, too, and looked out the window at the dark street. “I was so afraid I’d finish law school and be selling shoes,” she said. “I’m sorry to keep talking about it. All I can think about is that drive.”

That weekend was the longest one he’d had. He fed the cows and cleaned the tack for the team. He curried the horses until they gleamed and stamped, watching him, suspicious of what he intended.

Inside, he sat on the couch, flipped through the channels, and finally turned the TV off. He wondered how he might court a girl who was older, and a lawyer, a girl who lived clear across the state and couldn’t think about anything but that distance. He felt a strange sensation in his chest, but it wasn’t the restlessness he had felt before.

Excerpted from Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy Copyright © 2009 by Maile Meloy. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Group, 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!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

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

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!