Excerpt from The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

The House of Tomorrow

A Novel

by Peter Bognanni

The House of Tomorrow
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 354 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2011, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Can’t I talk about how handsome my boy is?” Nana said over her shoulder. “Is that some kind of unlawful act?”

She walked out of sight. I looked outside a second time and saw the teal minivan drifting past the dome again. This time it slowed down and idled for a moment in the street. The glass on the windshield was tinted, so I couldn’t view any of the passengers inside. It lurched forward and docked in our semicircular drive.

I stood up and tucked in my shirt. I forced myself to start thinking about a sale in the gift shop. Nana was right; it would probably have to be a photo. But maybe a Bucky Ball would do. The Bucky Balls were glow-in-the-dark plastic dome balls that you could kick or throw or hang from a ceiling. They retailed at $29.95. But the framed photographs were fifty dollars even, and they featured our dome, lit up from the inside against a scene of night woods. Nana took this photo herself, and if you looked closely at it, you could see my tube-socked foot coming out of a bedroom closet. I had been hiding in there to stay out of the way, but my sock had lurked out at the exact moment of the fl ash. No customers ever saw it, though, unless I pointed it out.

I was not allowed to point it out.

I was not allowed to say much of anything to the visitors, really. Aside from the fragments of conversation I employed for my sales tactics, I was supposed to remain a silent operative. Most of the time this was painless enough; the people from town were often loud and very intent on telling me jokes I didn’t understand. But every once in while, I could hardly contain my impulse to speak up to a boy or girl my age. Someone like me who was also so very much not like me. Those were the moments I could feel my credo slipping to the back of my mind, and something else taking over.

Outside, the driver’s-side door of the van opened and a short middle-aged woman stepped out in high-heeled shoes and brown kneesocks. She had fl ushed cheeks and large eyes, and she wore a long tan wool coat with a cyan scarf wrapped around her neck at least three times. Her black hair was tied in a braid. She peered up at the dome, a hand at her forehead like a scout’s. Then, turning on a dime, she walked over to the back door of the van and slid it open.

She leaned in and a pale hand took hers. Then she gave a quick tug and a ghostly teenager emerged from the van dressed completely in black.

He wore a leather jacket with straps, buckles, and snapped epaulets. And under the jacket there was a T-shirt made to resemble the front of a tuxedo. He had skinny black jeans and frayed canvas sneakers. He was even thinner than I was and wore squarish glasses. A thick lock of uncombed dark hair hung over the top of the frames like a dirty wave. Tiny headphones were buried in his ears.

He kneeled for a moment on the concrete of the driveway, retying a broken shoelace, a deep scowl on his face, then sprang up and followed the woman, who was already plodding toward our door. I walked outside to my station at the gift stand. The woman clacked up the drive and smiled at me through the little open window in my stand. She paused a moment, then stuck a pink hand right inside.

“Janice Whitcomb,” she said.

I shook the hand.

“Sebastian,” I said. “Welcome to the future.”

Janice smiled politely. “That’s my son, Jared,” she said. The boy stood behind her, adjusting the volume control on a music player of some kind. He looked even smaller and frailer up close. His jacket hung on him like a leather poncho.

“Don’t bother speaking to him,” she said quickly. “He’s mad at me, so he’s playing his music. He stays inside too much since he got out of the hospital, so I thought I’d get him outside in the elements today. I don’t think he’s pleased.”

Excerpted from House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni. Copyright © 2010 by Peter Bognanni. Excerpted by permission of Amy Einhorn Books. 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 your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes 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.

 
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.