Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Excerpt from The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Wanderer

by Sharon Creech

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech X
The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2000, 288 pages

    Paperback:
    Apr 2002, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One
The Sea

The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me. Come in, it said, come in.

And in I went, floating, rolling, splashing, swimming, and the sea called, Come out, come out, and further I went but always it swept me back to shore.

And still the sea called, Come out, come out, and in boats I went'in rowboats and dinghies and motorboats, and after I learned to sail, I flew over the water, with only the sounds of the wind and the water and the birds, all of them calling, Sail on, sail on.

And what I wanted to do was go on and on, across the sea, alone with the water and the wind and the birds, but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress, and at night I dreamed a terrible dream. A wall of water, towering, black, crept up behind me and hovered over me and then down, down it came, but always I awoke before the water covered me, and always I felt as if I were floating when I woke up.


Chapter Two
Three Sides

I am not always such a dreamy girl, listening to the sea calling me. My father calls me Three-sided Sophie: one side is dreamy and romantic; one is logical and down-to-earth; and the third side is hardheaded and impulsive. He says I am either in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, and if I ever get the three together, I'll be all set, though I wonder where I will be then. If I'm not in dreamland or earthland or mule-land, where will I be?

My father says my logical side is most like him, and the dreamy side most like my mother, which isn't entirely fair, I don't think. My father likes to think of himself as a logical man, but he is the one who pores over pictures of exotic lands and says things like "We should go on a safari!" and "We should zip through the air in a hot-air balloon!"

And although my mother is a weaver and spins silky cloths and wears flowing dresses, she is the one who gives me sailing textbooks and makes me study water safety and weather prediction and says things like "Yes, Sophie, I taught you to sail, but that doesn't mean I like the idea of you being out there alone on the water. I want you to stay home. Here. With me. Safe."

My father says he doesn't know who my hardheaded mule side resembles. He says mules don't run in the family.

I am thirteen, and I am going to sail across the ocean. Although I would like to go alone -- alone! alone! flying over the water! -- I'm not. My mule-self begged a place aboard a forty-five-foot sailboat with a motley crew: three uncles and two cousins. The uncles -- Stew, Mo, and Dock -- are my mother's brothers, and she told them, "If the slightest harm comes to my Sophie, I'll string you all up by your toes."

She isn't worried (although maybe she should be) about the influence of my cousin Brian -- quiet, studious, serious Brian -- but she frets over the bad habits I might learn from my other cousin, Cody. Cody is loud, impulsive, and charming in a way my mother does not trust. "He's too charming," she says, "in a dangerous sort of way."

My mother isn't the only person who is not thrilled for me to take this trip. My uncles Stew and Mo tried their best to talk me out of it. "It's going to be a bunch of us guys, doing guy things, and it wouldn't be a very pleasant place for a girl," and "Wouldn't you rather stay home, Sophie, where you could have a shower every day?" and "It's a lot of hard work," and yakkety-yak they went. But I was determined to go, and my mule-self kicked in, spouting a slew of sailing and weather terms, battering them over the head with all the things I'd learned in my sailing books, and with some things I'd made up, for good measure.

Uncle Dock -- the good uncle, I call him, because he's the one who doesn't see any harm in my coming -- said, "Heck, she knows more about boats than Brian and Cody put together," and so they caved in.

  • 1
  • 2

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech. Copyright (c) 2000 by Sharon Creech. Reprinted with permission from HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Clear
    Clear
    by Carys Davies
    John Ferguson is a principled man. But when, in 1843, those principles drive him to break from the ...
  • Book Jacket: Change
    Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Half a Cup of Sand and Sky
by Nadine Bjursten
A poignant portrayal of a woman's quest for love and belonging amid political turmoil.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Flower Sisters
    by Michelle Collins Anderson

    From the new Fannie Flagg of the Ozarks, a richly-woven story of family, forgiveness, and reinvention.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.