Excerpt from Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Lovely, Dark and Deep

by Amy McNamara

Lovely, Dark and Deep
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2013, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1

john
wells'
daughter

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

I had things I didn't want, and then I lost them. One minute I was breaking up with my boyfriend, Patrick, the next I was the only one left standing. Empty-handed. A ghost of who I'd been. Broken in a way you can't see when you meet me.

My name is Mamie, but my dad calls me Wren. My parents never agreed on anything when they were married, so I answer to both names. I like having a spare. Especially now. Besides, it drives my mother nuts. She thinks my dad calls me Wren to bug her. She says she named me Mamie because it means "wished-for child" and she had to try so hard to have me. Like she conjured me out of sheer will. Which she probably did. That's the kind of person she is. But I looked it up, and it also means "bitter." Either way, Mamie died on the side of a road somewhere back in my old life, and I moved away. Now I'm Wren full time, in a house on the Edge of the Known World, upper East Coast, with my dad, who spends his days in his studio. Perfect for us both.

I came here because it's pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of quiet-noise you need when there's too much going on in your head. Like the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear. I wake up in the morning, get into clothes and out on my bike before I can think about anything. It's a place that could swallow me if I need it to.

So that's what I'm doing, music on full blast, trying to think about nothing, crunching over brittle twigs and sticks in the woods along a road I never see anyone use, when a Jeep comes flying around a bend, right at me. Before I can think, I swerve off the road and into a huge tree. My front tire crumples when I hit. Dust and pine needles lift into a cloud as the car skids to a stop.

The driver door whips open and a guy gets out. A couple years older than me.

"Are you all right?"

He looks totally rattled, and maybe even a little annoyed, like I'm the one who messed up somehow.

I sit up, untangle myself from the bike, and wipe sticky needles from my palms. The fall knocked the wind out of me. Takes me a second before I can make air come in and out again normally. The front wheel of my bike is bent like an angry giant grabbed it and gave it a twist. For a second I think it looks kind of beautiful. Like something my dad might like. Something that used to make me wish I had my camera. I stare at the ruined rim.

"Are you all right? Can you talk?"

He's looking at me wildly, like he thinks I might be really hurt or something.

I can breathe again, but I've kept quiet for so long, I'm out of practice—I can't think of a single thing to say.

He turns away and I hear the engine clunk off. Grabs his phone.

"Wait," I say, finding my voice. "I'm fine. See?" I stand. "I was just shocked."

He tosses his cell back onto the passenger seat and runs a shaking hand through his hair. After a deep breath, he says, "I didn't see you. There's never anyone along this road."

I'm trying to think if I've seen him around. The town's pretty small, but I haven't exactly been hanging out anywhere. And he doesn't look small-town. Charcoal-gray shirt; thick, dark hair falling into his eyes; long, straight nose. Something faraway inside me rings like a little wakeup bell in a long-abandoned cavern.

He's still kind of scanning me, a slightly frantic up-and-down, like he might spot something broken, like I'm a miracle for not being flattened into the ground.

"God. I could have killed you." His eyes go to the bent tire. "I wrecked your bike."

I can't find anything to say. When you've been quiet as long as I have, words leave you.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara. Copyright © 2012 by Amy McNamara. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 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:
  Amy McNamara

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner, starts off as an entertaining ...
  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...

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...

Knowledge is of two kinds...

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.

 
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.