Hey guys! I’m currently reading “The Names They Gave Us” by Emery Lord (AND LOVING IT!) so I am super excited to be part of the Boldly Bookish Tour and to be able to bring you guys an exclusive excerpt of my current read!
The Names They Gave Us
by Emery Lord
Publication Date: May 16, 2017.
Goodreads Rating: 4.21 stars (672 Ratings)
“When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?
Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.
Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.
It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.”
Now, enjoy the exclusive excerpt for The Names They Gave Us!
Top five most embarrassing moments of Camp, Week Two
- After my Monday morning swim, I’m toweling off on my way back to the cabin. I’m not sure of the exact time, but I haven’t heard the bugle yet.
And then I nearly run into the bugle. Or rather, the bugler. Jones. So it’s been him these past mornings, waking everyone up for the day. I didn’t put it together.
“Morning!” he says with a friendly wave. His trumpet is in one hand, glinting in the earliest sunlight. He is wearing a T-shirt and shorts like a normal human being. I am wearing a still-sopping swimsuit. And I know from experience that my goggles have pressed red ovals around my eyes.
“Heh,” I reply. Heh. Not “hi,” not “hey.” Very distinctly: heh.
And instead of trying to recover from that, I scamper away like a third grader.
- During our Tuesday night activity—watching The Sandlot after playing all-camp softball—Brooklyn tugs on my sleeve and asks if I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. We’re sitting on blankets outside, a projector playing the pool kiss scene.
“A boyfriend,” I whisper automatically, before I remember. “I mean, neither.”
“So you don’t have a boyfriend?”
“Well, I kind of do. It’s…I mean, sometimes relationships are complicated when you’re older.”
“What’s your kind-of boyfriend’s name? Have you kissed him? Are you in love with him?”
Lukas. Yes. And…I thought I was. Can you be truly in love with someone who would put you in storage from summer, like a nice enough but unnecessary winter coat?
“Watch the movie,” I whisper.
“That means yes,” Brooklyn says to herself, smug, as Anna pats my hand.
- On Thursday morning, Anna and I are sitting together at breakfast. She’s flanked by her fourth graders, and I have a row of 3As at my side. We’re taking our trays up, when I see Jones and Simmons in the hallway to Rhea’s office. They’re nearly toe-to-toe, conferring about something, arms crossed as they whisper.
When Anna catches me starting at them, I mutter sheepishly, “They’re cute.”
“They as in Simmons and Jones? No, no. That’s a brother-sister thing.”
My first reaction is surprise; I never would have guessed. They have different last names, for starters. So maybe they have different dads or somethings. Simmons is short, with arched eyebrows, higher cheekbones. I guess they do both have heart-shaped faces?
Regardless, I don’t think anything of it when, while trying to make small talk during morning Pitch-In, I say to Simmons, “It’s so nice that you get to be at camp with your brother and sister.”
She gives me the most epic Excuse me? look the world has ever seen. “I don’t have a brother.”
“Jones,” I say, not understanding.
As I stand there, heart pounding with confusion, she levels me with a side ye that couple split the horizon line from the earth. “Do I really have to tell you that not all black people are related?”
My face lights itself on fire. “No! What? I mean—Anna…she told me you guys are a brother-sister thing!”
Her tight expression relaxes. “Oh, Jesus. Ha! She meant he’s like a brother to me. We grew up together. Same high school, too. Our moms are close. He dated my best friend for over a year. That kind of thing.”
“Oh. Cool.” And my stupid, stupid mouth adds, “Dated? Like, they broke up?”
“Yeah. In the spring.”
- Simmons’s stare homes in on me, her brows lowered. “Why? You interested?”
“Oh gosh, no! I just asked because I thought how hard that would be for you, two of your best friends breaking up. I mean, I have a boyfriend. Well, I had a boyfriend. We’re taking a little time off. You know what? It doesn’t matter.”’ Shut up, Lucy. My words sound like the thumps of a football when it has been fumbled.
- I play touch football with the Blue Team on Thursday evening. I actually fumble.
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