Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Excerpt from "The Outside Boy"

"There was always something about walking into a glowy barn at night, like a church. there was the strong, sleepy smell of the gathered animals, of their skin and breath. The spiky odor of the kerosene in the barn lantern, hanging from a rafter above, with its wick trimmed tidy and low. The feed sacks, the neat's-foot-oil, the saddle soap, the clean straw underfoot, all blending their scents together. Like summer and heat and sunshine and sweat on your neck, and a full belly.

The lantern cast a blush around the soft, splintery wood of the stalls. Oiled saddles gleamed from their racks on the walls, and I gleamed from the inside out, like I always did, walking into a barn. Because the barn was that matchless balance of all things, where the indoors came inside--comfortable, without getting stifled or restrained. Or maybe it was the other way 'round, maybe it was really the indoors coming outside, leaving plenty of space in the planks of the wood, the packed earth underfoot, so's you nearly couldn't tell was you inside or out. It was a harmony I never seen nowhere else on earth, like walking into a place that God carved into the world, just to accommodate the shape of me in it. A comfort and exhilaration, both."

The Outside Boy, Jeanine Cummins

"Ireland 1959: Young Christopher Hurley is a tinker, a Pavee Gypsy who roams with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their world possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth.

The wandering life is the only one Christy as ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle briefly in a town, where Christy and his cousin can receive proper schooling and prepare for their first Communions. But still, always, they are treated as outsiders.

As Christy struggles to find his way amid the more conventional lives of his new classmates, he starts to question who he is and where he belongs. But then the discovery of an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried secret from his mother's mysterious past change his life forever......"

Some friends asked about this book that I read, so I am posting this sample that I liked and the recap on the cover.


Wanda..... said...

No wonder you like the book, Penny. Her poetic words make me wish I had animals in my barn...would certainly like to read The Outsde Boy!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Thank you for your recap! I love to see what others thought of books, before getting out of our library system!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

And the piece about the "glowy barn at night" makes me sad, that I've never had such an experience. It's wonderful when words can move you, thus.