Wednesday, January 24, 2018

the last book I ever read (History of Wolves: A Novel by Emily Fridlund, excerpt three)

from History of Wolves: A Novel by Emily Fridlund:

I’d seen the couple once before, in August. They’d come to oversee the construction of their lake house, which had been built by a team of college students from Duluth. The crew spent the summer clearing brush with backhoes, arranging plywood walls, stapling shingles to the vaulted roof. The house, when it was finished, was unlike anything I’d seen in Loose River. It had split-log siding and enormous triangular windows, a broad blond deck that jutted out over the lake like the prow of some ship. From their hatchback, the father had hauled Adirondack chairs and docile cats: one black and fat, the other white and draped ornamentally over his arm. I’d seen them out on their new dock one late August afternoon, bundled head to toe in towels. Father, mother, tiny child. The child’s towel dragged on the wooden planks, and the mother and father had knelt down together, at once, arranging the folds. They were like attendants to a very small bride, doting, hovering. They seemed to be saying something very sweet to the child, who had a high, frightened voice that carried across water. That was the last I’d seen of them.

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