Excerpt from Last Will by Bryn Greenwood, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Last Will

by Bryn Greenwood

Last Will
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Apr 2012, 284 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
WHILE YOU WERE OUT...

When Joel reached toward the van door, I said, "Don't open it," just the way my book on lucid dreaming told me to. The book said to contradict anything I didn't like, but Joel ignored me.

"Well, hey, Bernie, what say we give you a ride home?" he said.

"Shut up and go away." That didn't work either. Amy stood next to Joel, her white-blond hair fluttering in the breeze. Joel's fingers closed around the pitted chrome lever. Before I could protest, the door rolled open, and the back of the van gaped like the mouth of a hungry cave. He was in there.

"I'm not doing this, and if this doesn't stop, I'm going to wake up," I said. Then I did.

In that sense, the lucid dreaming worked. It kept away the nightmares, but it cost me sleep. Half an hour later, when my mother called, I had just fallen back asleep.

"Did I wake you?" she said.

"No," I said, even though I knew my voice was gravelly with sleep.

"It's not even ten o'clock." She cleared her throat. "I'm afraid I'm calling with some bad news, Bernie."

"Are you okay?"

She sounded fine, but in Boston it was nearly eleven, late for her.

"Yes, I suppose, but Virginia just called to tell me Pen is dead." When I didn't answer, she said, "Did you hear me? Your grandfather Pen has died."

I got out of bed, opened the closet and turned on the light. Looking for my suit, I fumbled through the clothes at the back. I saw already where the conversation was going: a trip to Oklahoma.

"Did she say what happened?" I asked.

"A heart attack. He was nearly ninety."

"I know. When's the funeral?"

"You'll need to make that decision, unless you're going to leave it all to Virginia, which I think is hardly appropriate. You really ought to decide."

"Okay," I said. There I was at the end of a long line of Raleighs; whatever decisions there were to be made for my grandfather, I would have to make them.

After I hung up with my mother, I felt myself drifting. The floor seemed less firm, and the bathroom tiles had already lost their tangibility. Afraid of drifting further, I brewed a pot of coffee and popped a few white crosses-enough speed and caffeine to keep me awake for two days, or give me a stroke. I spent the night cleaning house and making lists, until my eyes felt cooked in their sockets. By six I was on the phone buying my plane ticket, and at eight, I was standing at the Overland Park post office filling out the paperwork that would commit me to having my mail forwarded to my grandfather's house.

I went into work two hours late, and stood at the front counter watching Ellen, the second assistant librarian, check a customer out. The only sounds in the library were the creaking of book spines, the discreet bleep of the scanner, the reassuring thump of the book cover, the intimate whisper as she slid the books across the counter to the customer. Under the counter, the printer chattered briefly. Ellen tore the receipt off and slipped it into the top book. I let it wash over me, a little balance of pleasure to get me through the funeral, and whatever came after.

My boss, Beverly, was shuffling papers at her desk, and when I told her about my grandfather, she gave me a gentle smile of condolence. She never spoke when a look would have the same effect. It was the thing that made her a superior librarian.

"It's probably going to be a month at least, maybe longer," I said.

"Why so long?"

It wasn't a simple matter of an old man's house and car and checking account. I described the monumental nature of the task, the largeness of the estate, and when she still didn't understand, I told her that my grandfather was Pen Raleigh. Then I told her to read the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I saw the elements fall into place for her, like a Tetris game at work.

Excerpted from Last Will by Bryn Greenwood. Copyright © 2012 by Bryn Greenwood. Excerpted by permission of Stairway Press. 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:
  Introducing Bryn Greenwood

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...
  • Book Jacket: Dinner with Edward
    Dinner with Edward
    by Isabel Vincent
    In late 2009 Isabel Vincent and her family were still newcomers to New York City. She and her ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

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

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!