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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    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" 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!

Beyond the Book:
  Chinese Immigration to the USA

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!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

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

Who Said...

If there is anything more dangerous to the life of the mind than having no independent commitment to ideas...

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

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.