Excerpt from I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

I Shall Be Near To You

by Erin Lindsay McCabe

I Shall Be Near To You
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2014, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2014, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


'How dare you!' I said. 'My Mama's so sick and you throw away our supper?' And then I said things that didn't make no sense. 'That's for the baby! You take away everything and I don't even have no brother!'

He grabbed my pole, making my arm jump like I'd got the biggest fish in the world on the line. I wouldn't let go and he jerked and jerked.

I slipped and fell hard on the green slime creek rocks and when I came up sputtering, he shoved me back in the water before breaking my pole over his knee.

Only the splashing and yelling stopped me from the murder I was thinking.

'You can't push a girl!' one of them boys was saying. It was tall and skinny Jeremiah Wakefield, sticking his chest out, stomping through the water, pushing Eli's shoulders with both hands, pushing him away from where I was standing. 'It ain't right.'

I cried then, everything hurting so bad I sat back down in the water, watching a snot string dangling from my nose like spiderweb and then dropping in the water; I cried for the fresh mound on the hill and the new baby born dead and my Mama sick with fever, but I said, 'The fish . . .'

I pull that curtain shut. What kind of fool have I been, thinking Jeremiah would want me for a wife with that as his first real memory of me?

Betsy sprawls across the whole bed. Maybe I ain't leaving this house after all. Maybe I'll be sharing this bed with Betsy until she's the one getting married, until her husband is the one taking over Papa's farm because a spinster daughter don't get nothing if there's a man around to claim it. Maybe Jeremiah didn't mean a thing by making Eli leave me be, by helping Papa with the rope and the horses. Maybe he was only ever being neighborly and all those kisses I let him steal really were only for practice.

But then I think of his hand on my arm, how he stood me up, saying, 'You go home, Rosetta,' his blue eyes a surprise with that dark hair, and him holding out my pail with four fish back in it but cleaned and gutted too, and how I listened when he said, 'You go home now.'


'There's more sewing and mending than Betsy and I can get to,' Mama says, settling down Papa's plate of eggs.

Papa looks up at Mama 'cause he knows I want no part in a sewing circle, but she has already turned back to the popping eggs. Then he looks at me. I shake my head, begging him to take me with him. There has always been Mama's world inside, and Papa's world out there, and me toeing the path between.

He shrugs, telling me he ain't up for a fight. 'Course,' he says. 'I've got to fix the North gate, since that fool horse kicked through it. But I suppose I can get it hung without my farmhand.'

'Well,' Mama says, sliding my plate in front of me, 'I would be grateful for the help.'

After breakfast, Mama sets me to peeling and chopping potatoes for the supper soup, and when that is done we all sit down around the woodstove with the sewing. Mama is still trying to teach me about being a good farm wife and Winter is the best time for women's work, but that don't mean I want to be kept inside with her and Betsy, pricking my fingers and drawing beads of blood.

All Summer Jeremiah helped us bring our hay in, telling Papa he knew farmhands were scarce, and I thought it was a good thing, him seeing me be Papa's right hand, him knowing I could do what needs doing. But now I am stuck inside mending and he hasn't come and I ain't so sure.

The skirt I am holding slips down to the floor and I can't sit another second. I stab my needle into the pincushion and stand up. Betsy giggles when Mama asks me, 'What is in your bonnet?' but I just let her question fall like the curtain I keep pulling back and make for the door, banging on the way out.

Excerpted from I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe Copyright © 2014. Excerpted by permission of Crown Trade, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin 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!

Beyond the Book:
  Rose O'Neale Greenhow

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 Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

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.