“It ain’t the land that’s ruined,” I said. I softened my voice some, and I sat in one of the chairs beside where he was slumped. “The land can’t be commanded. You should know that by now. The corn is decent, the rain has been curious enough to visit, and the weather has tried to be kind. But honey, nothing will grow faster just because you’re drinking faster, and it won’t stop growing because you’re feeling bad about it. It’s just… a hard life. You chose it like your father chose it. It’s part of the land and it’s part of you, you have no say in it.” I wanted to tell him – it was on the tip of my tongue, since he was now such close friends with the dirt on the porch – that he was the one ruined, and it was on account of the drink. But that would be unkind, and I didn’t feel unkind at the moment. I felt adrift and understood what he said. The land did have us in shackles.
Excerpt from A Very Tall Summer – Coming soon