"How did you know my name?" Mary asked her.
"Sure, half the girls in Ireland are called Mary," said the woman.
"No, they aren't," said Mary. "I'm the only one on our road."
"Well, they were all called Mary in my day," said the woman. "Off you go, so. I'll see you the next time." The next time? Mary should have been worried, even frightened. She was worried, and a bit frightened. But not nearly as much as she thought she should have been. This woman had come out of nowhere. She knew Mary's name and all about her granny - Mary should have been terrified. But she wasn't. Something about the woman, the way she spoke, her face, her smile - she seemed familiar. Mary didn't know her - but she did.
She wasn't terrified. But, still, she ran to the front door and rang the bell instead of getting her key from her schoolbag. As she rang the bell, she turned. But the woman had gone.
She heard the door opening.
It was her mother.
"How was school?!"
She went straight past her mother, into the hall.
"What's your hurry?!"
Excerpted from A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle. Copyright © 2012 by Roddy Doyle. Excerpted by permission of Harry N. Abrams Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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