Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Lately, I've had the urge to go back to that middle novel of mine, which I've long since abandoned. In honor of it, here's a short teaser.
Before Papa’s car comes rattling up to the Rivera's front door, I take one last good look at Sara’s backyard. It’s large but not as big as ours, and where the soil used to be brown and damp, it’s now golden and dried out, the kind of soil that would scratch at your knees and fingers if you attempted to plant anything in it. It isn’t growing soil.
“Mama says the earth is angry with us,” I say to Papa on the way home.
He shakes his head and sighs. “I don’t know why your mother tells you such nonsense.”
I turn my gaze back towards the window. This is a farming town, or was. A lot of the people who lived in the white and gray two-story houses packed up. Papa says it’s because this land has nothing to offer us anymore.
The car bounces along on parts of the road that’s uneven. Papa says that Mama’s baking apple pie, and I want to ask if they were fresh apples. But I know that’s a silly question. I can’t even remember the last time I had an apple plucked right off a tree.
There isn’t much to see out the window because there isn’t much to see in these parts of Louisiana except some dying plants and animals.
A coyote standing by the side of the road stares at me, and I stare at him as we drive pass. And I know what he’s thinking. This land is theirs now. Even our own backyards aren't safe anymore.
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