Tuesday, August 13, 2013

the last book I ever read (Mary Coin by Mary Silver, excerpt five)

from Marisa Silver's Mary Coin:

The Hudson had broken down the night before outside Nipomo, near a pea field. The baby had a chesty cough. It would not do to have him sleep out-of-doors in the tent, so everyone slept cramped inside the car. When Mary woke, the windows were fogged, and she wiped her sleeve on the windshield. The hood of the car was up, and Earl was bent over the engine. She put her lips to the baby’s forehead. He was warm. His eyes were glassy. She opened the car door and stepped outside, tucking him beneath her coat. Her shoes broke through a thin layer of frost. A cold wind carried voices from the clutter of shacks in the pickers’ camp. She would find out if someone there had medicine they were willing to give her. She could ask about jobs, too. There was no hiring sign, but it was cold and people could be sick. There might be at least a day or two of work for Earl.

“The radiator is busted,” he said.

“You wouldn’t happen to know how to fix it?” she said.

His look was his answer. Ellie came out of the car, pulling on her coat.

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