Excerpt from Vandal Love by Deni Y. Béchard, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Vandal Love

A Novel

by Deni Y. Béchard

Vandal Love by Deni Y. Béchard
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    May 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


When he returned to the house, the aunts had just arrived, quiet now. Isa-Marie's soft, persistent coughing came from upstairs. She'd always been sensitive to the chill - frileuse, the aunts had called her, la frileuse. She hadn't left her bed or eaten in days. Afraid to wake her, he listened from outside her room. The few times he'd gone in just to hear her breathe he'd stepped softly, opened or closed the door as quietly as he'd be enable. Hearing her cough, he felt as if he was struggling against something invisible, suffocating and blinding, like a blanket over his face. He wanted to know what he could do, who to fight.

From the unlit hallway he listened to his aunts.

C'est triste. But she would never have married. It was only a matter of time.

Oui, it's sad. She should have gone to the convent. Yes, the convent - she'd have made a good nun.It is sad.

Tellement triste. Elle était si jolie.

Jude stumbled outside. A gray sun settled faintly against a distant, watery horizon. Far off, the church'sspire was a frail ensign between sea and mountains. The cold mustered about him. At the docks he found Hervé Hervé. He asked what they should do - rare words, stumbling, Qu'est-ce... qu'on devrait faire? Hervé Hervé had been drinking.He'd just tied down the weir and put up the boats. Hestopped and took in Jude with his single eye.

There's no point, he said against the windy silence. They die. People die. To call a doctor would be a waste of money. You can't change anything.

In the darkening chill Jude rushed against this rage. He went to the woodpile and grabbed the axe and swung. He split savagely, driving aimless, glancing blows until the handle splintered. He crouched, panting. Not knowing how to cry, he could only groan. Stiffly, he walked to the outhouse. It was set back in the trees. He opened the door and knelt as his grandmother had taught him in church years ago. He lifted the board. Without closing his eyes, he pushed his head inside, down through the thin layer of ice.

Excerpted from Vandal Love by Deni Y Béchard. Copyright © 2012 by Deni Y Béchard. Excerpted by permission of Milkweed Editions. 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:
  Le Grand Hémorragie

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...
  • Book Jacket: Genuine Fraud
    Genuine Fraud
    by E Lockhart
    Do we ever really know who our friends are? Or what the truth is? After all, truth, like beauty is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

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.