Excerpt from Take Me With You by Brad Newsham, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Take Me With You

A Round-the-World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home

by Brad Newsham

Take Me With You
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2000, 376 pages
    Feb 2002, 376 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Oh, Manila’s O.K.," I said, but what I meant was: Don't cry.

"I don't want to think I am stranded in Manila," he snuffled, "but I am stranded."

"Don't you live here?" I asked.


"Where are you from?"

"Batangas Province."

"How long have you been in Manila?"

"One month."

I asked, "Did you come to Manila to work?"


"Why, then?"

"To bury my mother."


His name was Ezekiel. He was twenty-six years old. His father had died several years earlier, and his mother, only forty-three, had died suddenly a month ago. Ezekiel wasn't married, but had three younger siblings. As the oldest it was his job to get his mother’s body to the family plot in Manila. He'd taken a one-week leave from his job at the Sunkist pineapple farm in Batangas.

"I bury my mother, but on way back to Batangas, someone at bus station picks my wallet. There are many crazy people in Manila." His voice rose for this pronouncement, then faded. For the first time he looked right at me, his eyes wet. He sobbed, "I have no bus fare. For one month now I am stranded." His chin dropped onto his quaking chest.

Ezekiel had me. Sure, I knew that just about anyone, given a month, should be able, somehow, to come up with bus fare. And, yes, I knew that I could not afford to give money to every unfortunate in Manila who might ask for it. But less than two years had passed since the day that my own father–seventy-one years old, and in apparent good health–had suddenly died. A month, I knew, was nothing. Nothing at all. If Ezekiel’s story was true I would put him on the next bus home, but was it?

When his snuffling stopped, I said, "You know, Ezekiel, a lot of people in this park seem to be stranded."

He didn’t look up. Fifteen seconds ticked by before he answered: "There are many people in this park who will be bluffing you. I am not bluffing. I am a Christian."

"You could be Moslem, Jew, atheist," I said. "That’s not important to me." He seemed to accept this the way I meant it, but the words sounded harsh in my own ear. I asked, "How much is the bus fare?"

In a whisper: "It is very cheap. Only thirty pesos. But I am shy to tell the driver I have no money. And I don't know how to get money."

I said, "I will give you thirty pesos."

When I pulled my wad from my pocket, Ezekiel gulped and said, "Can you maybe give me five pesos more? For my food?"

I gave him fifty pesos, and he let me take his picture. He was no longer the corpse I’d first met. He asked about my trip and described his own small travels–to the islands of Cebu and Mindoro. The waterfalls at Laguna, he said, were his favorite place. I thought: You wouldn't believe Yosemite.

"Do you have any dreams, Ezekiel?"

"To see my family," he said. "I have not seen them in a month. They probably think I am dead like my mother. Every day I am hoping someone will help me, but in one day the most I have gotten is five pesos, and I have to eat."

"How far away is Batangas?"

"Three hours on bus." Ridiculously close, impossibly far. "If it is O.K.," he said, "I will go now."

"First, can you please write down your address in my notebook?"

"You want me to pay back?" he asked.

"No, no. It’s not that at all. I just..."

And then I couldn't contain myself. I blurted out about my own father’s death, about my 100-day trip, and my invitation plan. At the moment Ezekiel "got it" we were facing each other, and I saw his eyes and cheeks and mouth light up as though a fireworks factory had just exploded somewhere over my shoulder.

"America!" he said. "California!"

I thought: Mistake. To ignite such hope and then not deliver on it seemed cruel. Two seconds after becoming the first, Ezekiel also became the last potential visitor I would share my plan with.

Copyright 2000. Brad Newsham. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Travelers' Tales Inc

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.


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.