Excerpt from Take Me Home by Brian Leung, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Take Me Home

by Brian Leung

Take Me Home by Brian Leung X
Take Me Home by Brian Leung
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2010, 304 pages
    Nov 2011, 304 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

He laughed. "It's a little farther than nowhere."

"Sounds like you need a wife more than a sister."

"Almost had one," he said, sitting down again. "Emiline was her name, real pretty and sweet. But she said yes to another fella who had better prospects."

She heard his heart in his voice, and, pushing her stool next to him, Addie sat with her arm around his back. "Sorry to hear it," Addie said. "But someone will come along."

"It's for the best, I reckon." Tommy stared at the ground. "I got this idea there's one person in the world can make you happier than anyone else."

"Just one, Tommy?"

He looked at her and smiled. "It's long odds, I know. But it's something to hope for. Till then," he said, tousling her hair, "it's you, me, and eighty acres. And besides, you're the one we got to get married."

There was a response, to be sure, but she decided to hold it. A woman steps into a snare the day she's born, Addie had learned. Her mother warned her about it before loosing herself, which was the difficult thing for Addie, understanding her mother had fled an unhappy life and at the same time wondering if she herself had played a part in the unhappiness. If Addie had done something differently, might her mother have stayed? Could it have outweighed the kind of husband her father became?

She looked around the hovel in which she and Tommy were sitting. Worthless as her father was when the drink took him, even he, at first, managed to keep the family in food and clothes, and the cabin mostly intact. Addie thought of the shabby town they'd walked through to get here. There was its creek with undrinkable water, and the coolies she'd been warned against. And if Dire was anything like Rock Springs, she was better off alone wherever Tommy had his homestead. She looked at her brother and then at the sad little sack that contained everything she owned and what money she had left. And when she found herself nodding, it was as if her body had made up its mind before her brain. "Guess I'll need an apron."

"No," Tommy said, winking. "You'll need guns." It was an uncomfortable night of sleep, Addie taking the carved shelf with the wool blanket, her brother on the dirt floor with a coat propped under his head for a pillow. He'd fallen fast asleep, but she lay awake in total darkness. Now and then there were voices outside, men speaking words she didn't recognize except for the slurring quality. She'd lived with her father long enough to understand that drunkenness was an international language.

But it wasn't the strange voices that were on Addie's mind; it was that suddenly she was a homesteader with Tommy, which felt like stepping backward. It wasn't an apron she was hoping for, but something else she couldn't name. There wasn't a word for it, the idea that she wanted to make her own way, choose the folks who might help her along, rather than be told exactly what she was confined to hoping for. It was an impractical thought, she decided. It was men who owned, who needed support. Their father had tried to carve out a living on a parcel of land in Kentucky, and that came to nothing, worse than nothing. Her mother abandoned them, Tommy left too, and after a few years of helping her father haul wood into Orgull, Addie practically had to drag him into town as well, away from the place he didn't want to leave and didn't have the discipline to keep up with. By the end, the cabin was more leaky and drafty than it had ever been. The elm that partially hung over the roof split in two, coming down on the roof, to which her father merely replied, "That was your ma's favorite tree."

After the elm, the drinking got worse, if that was possible. On his better days her father roused himself in the morning and headed into the woods with his ax and saw, and the mule too if he planned to get any real work done. She could hear him out there sometimes, the thwack of steel against green wood, the thrush and thump of a falling tree. But even on these better days, more and more often the woods eventually got quiet except for the birds and chattering of bitter squirrels. Evening would commence, and Addie knew what she had to do, track her father down before nightfall. The scene was always the same, him sitting on the ground, back against a felled tree. The mule watched her approach with indifference, and it shamed her to think that her father was the duller animal of the pair.

Excerpted from Take Me Home by Doris Haddock. Copyright © 2010 by Doris Haddock. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. 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" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Chinese Immigration to the USA

Join BookBrowse

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

Find out more

Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter in Sokcho
    Winter in Sokcho
    by Elisa Dusapin
    Our unnamed narrator is a young French-Korean woman who works at a guest house in Sokcho, a popular ...
  • Book Jacket: Second Place
    Second Place
    by Rachel Cusk
    Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy drew much of its substance from monologues and dialogues that swirled ...
  • Book Jacket: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is the comedic debut novel of writer Julietta Henderson. It ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Theater for Dreamers
    by Polly Samson

    A spellbinding tour-de-force about the beauty between naïveté and cruelty, artist and muse.

  • Book Jacket

    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Who Said...

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.

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


Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.