Excerpt from In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

In the Kingdom of Men

A Novel

by Kim Barnes

In the Kingdom of Men
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2012, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I wore my best wool skirt, rolled it up just a little. If my grandfather had seen me that way, he'd have whipped me into next Sunday. I thought I might look like Rita Hayworth, auburn hair to my waist, loose and undone, and maybe I did. Maybe that's what Mason saw. "Virginia!" He cupped his hands like a megaphone. "Ginny Mae Mitchell!" I was struck dumb, as though he were the first ever to call my name.

Here's the truth of it: watching him smile and wave from that car, I made the decision right then. When he asked me out for a Coke, I thought, This is it, my one chance with a man like Mason McPhee. I waited until my grandfather was asleep and slid open my window, not a creak or scratch to betray me.

That Coke was the sweetest thing. I couldn't believe I was there at the soda fountain with Mason, the other boys slapping his shoulder. The girls looked at me like they'd never seen me before. Maybe because I didn't know what to say, Mason talked and talked. About basketball, all the hours he had practiced in back of his house, a bicycle rim bolted to a pine. How his sharecropper father would come in off the tractor, challenge him to a game of Horse, and they would play past dark, nine games, ten, until Mason's mother called that she was feeding their dinner to the hogs. Mason always knew he would go to college and was studying prelaw, meant to be the finest public defender to come out of Pottawatomie County, maybe even a judge. He was sure that he could make a difference. He railed against the war in Vietnam and segregation, told me about the marches and protests he attended. "This world right here isn't real," he said, and tapped the cafe? table. "You," he said, resting his hand over mine, "you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. We've got to think bigger, do bigger things, like the Reverend King says."

Excerpted from In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes. Copyright © 2012 by Kim Barnes. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, 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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...

First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

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.