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Take Me, Take Me with You

Take Me, Take Me with You

2.3 3
by Lauren Kelly, Joyce Carol Oates

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Lauren Kelly, with amazing power and authority, explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story.

Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a


Lauren Kelly, with amazing power and authority, explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story.

Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zedrick Dewe, whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? And why are they drawn so powerfully to one another? Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. And from this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations so shocking that they lead Lara, long in denial about her life, to uncover the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Five-year-old Lorraine Quade loves her momma, but crazy Hedy Quade returns this love in mighty peculiar ways: "Squeezing her hands around my throat so that my eyes opened wide and there were splotches of black like sequins and I started to panic and kick and Momma relaxed her grip, it was O.K. Momma was only just playing, like Momma did sometimes." The emphasis falls squarely on the psychological in this unusual novel of psychological suspense, as pretty soon momma loads Lorraine and older brother Ryan into their 1968 Chevy sedan and drives into an oncoming freight train. Twenty-two years later, Lorraine is alive though badly scarred both mentally and physically; she's changed her name to Lara and is working as a research fellow at the Institute for Semiotics, Aesthetics and Cultural Research at Princeton. After receiving an anonymous gift of an expensive ticket to a concert, she finds herself seated next to an unlikely classical music fan: "The intruder was a youngish ox of a man with unshaven, stubbled jaws and punk-style hair." His name is Zedrick Dewe, and Lara, who's inexplicably drawn to him, later lets him come up to her apartment, with disastrous consequences. Lara's life, never a model of stability, begins to unravel even further as she seeks answers to mysteries involving murder, incest, insanity and obsession. Kelly couples stylish (and sometimes affected) prose with an unusual plot structure, casting back and forth from past to present to build suspense and gradually reveal secrets. This is not your mother's whodunit, but readers with a taste for the unusual will find it chilling and compelling. (May) Forecast: The novel is just quirky enough to become an offbeat hit for Kelly, a pseudonym for "a bestselling and award-winning author." Look for a movie sale with actresses fighting to play the role of Lara, a sure-fire bet for a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lara Quade is a research assistant at Princeton University and a very lonely woman. A childhood accident left her physically and emotionally scarred and eventually estranged from her family. When she receives a ticket to a concert from an anonymous benefactor, she meets her seatmate, a man named Zedrick Dewe, who was also gifted with a ticket. Theirs is an uncomfortable yet synergistic meeting during which Lara invites Zedrick back to her apartment. While their intimacy ends in violence, Lara becomes nearly obsessed with Zedrick; she tracks him down, nudging their relationship further along. As they embark on the process of learning about each other, Lara gradually gains the courage to confront her painful past. But it's the relationship between Zedrick and Lara that is at the crux of this haunting and beautifully written suspense novel. Kelly is the new pseudonym of Joyce Carol Oates as she steps into the suspense genre. Recommended for all fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/04.]-Stacy Alesi, Southwest Cty. Regional Lib., Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Damaged-woman thriller by pseudonymous Kelly, who gives us a touch of the old Jim Thompson about a good girl going bad-maybe all the way to hell. Kelly tells her tale on parallel tracks, hopping between 1970 and the early 1990s. All that Lara Quade can remember about her mother's last drunken days is that she drove too fast on black ice and rammed their car, with six-year-old Lara and older brother Ryan, into a moving train at a country crossing. Lara (then named Lorraine) was scarred all over her body. She now works as a research assistant at a Princeton think-tank, helping her 320-pound male administrator assemble a thousand-page tome about talking dolls and other automata-perhaps she sees herself, as well, as a damaged doll (she even collects dolls for her apartment). Someone unknown sends her a free ticket to a concert, where a big lunk in a leather jacket takes the seat beside her. Little as she's attracted to him, Lara nonetheless invites Zed Dewsofski home with her, drinks gin, and fights with him. Next thing she hears is that her administrator, who wanted to take her to Las Vegas with him, has been beaten in his garage and may not live. Lara tracks down and confronts Zed in far-off Strykersville and discovers that he's the son of her late father, who was sent to Attica for murdering Zed's mother. But maybe Lara's mother did the deed, not her father. What's more, Zed is Lara's half-brother-and by now they can't keep their hands off each other. It's unfair to tell more, but incest runs deep and strong, while Lara confronts her full brother Ryan about Mom: Did she murder her husband's mistress?A racy plot that reminds strongly of Thompson's classic incester, The Grifters.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Take Me, Take Me with You
A Novel of Suspense

Chapter One

9 April 1971:
Lake Shaheen, New York

Are we going to see Daddy? Where is Daddy?
Momma? Where is Daddy?

This day at twilight when the sun appears soft as an egg yolk at the horizon a solitary car is observed descending route 39 into Lake Shaheen from the north. In this dense-wooded landscape in the foothills of the Chautauqua Mountains all horizons are foreshortened. Vehicles appear suddenly around curves, rapidly descending into town, though this car, driven by a woman with a blurred face and long streaming hair, is being driven at about thirty-five miles an hour -- a careful speed, a calculated-seeming speed as the car approaches the railroad crossing at the foot of the hill.

A quarter-mile to the east, the 5:48 P.M. Chautauqua & Erie freight is also approaching the crossing, much more rapidly.

Say you're the proprietor of Texas Hots Café. Say there's no customer in the café at just this moment, so you've been smoking a cigarette and staring out the front window of the café at nothing you haven't seen a thousand thousand times before. Not noticing still less giving a damn that the window is greasy, should be washed. Not noticing still less giving a damn that the asphalt in front of your café is beginning to crack, bad as the asphalt parking lot of the old train depot across the road; that weeds are growing in the cracks, like unwanted thoughts. Thinking that life is emptiness mostly -- you managed not to get killed, blown up, or shot up too bad in the war -- now your reward is, this emptiness at twilight of a day in early spring so cold and so cheerless it's indistinguishable from late winter, and even if a few more customers straggle into the café before you shut down for the night there's still this emptiness at the core, an emptiness you'd associate with Lake Shaheen, population 760, except you know it's elsewhere too, and anywhere: a stillness like the stillness between a faucet's slow drips. Yet so crowded sometimes, so much commotion inside your head there are moments when you can scarcely breathe, and you yearn for sleep to fill your head like soft warm concrete. All this while not really watching the car descending the hill toward the railroad crossing except to think with mild reproach No headlights but then it isn't dark yet, only just almost-dark, the sky overhead is vivid with waning sun and roiling clouds blowing down from Lake Ontario twenty miles to the north. You aren't aware that the car you're seeing is Duncan Quade's beat-up 1968 Chevy sedan he left behind when he moved away from Lake Shaheen sometime last summer, nor that the driver is Duncan Quade's wife, Hedy, who grew up around here, one of those Lake Shaheen High girls so pretty, so small-town sexy-glamorous that guys are all over them from the age of thirteen onward and they wind up married before graduating from high school, next thing they're mothers, and there's no next thing after that. Or anyway, no next thing they can see for themselves. And if their marriages go wrong, what then. But you aren't thinking yet of Hedy Quade or the likelihood that the small tense figure you half-see in the passenger's seat beside Hedy is probably the Quades' little boy, and behind Hedy in the backseat is a smaller child, probably the little girl. You don't know the kids' names: Duncan might've told you, but you don't remember the names of kids not your own.

And you aren't really watching the train yet. Except to note its lights are on.

This is the early-evening train, two passenger cars and the rest freight, coal and oil, the 5:48 P.M. through Lake Shaheen five days a week, that doesn't stop at Lake Shaheen but continues on to Port Oriskany fifty miles to the west. Truth is, you scarcely hear the trains any longer. You opened Texas Hots in 1946, back from the war (France and Italy, 1944–45) with a shot-up knee and a perforated eardrum and the trains passing the café and the shingleboard bungalow at the rear where you and your wife live are no more perceptible than pulse beats in your brain. People always asking how can you sleep through those damned trains and you just shrug, sure you sleep through the trains and so would anybody else in your position, anybody normal. If you'd been asked -- as nobody of your acquaintance in Lake Shaheen or among customers likely to come into Texas Hots would ask -- possibly you'd admit that you take comfort in the trains, their regularity east-west, west-east along the same tracks day following day. The locomotive whistle long and drawn out and melancholy, the clattering wheels. Vibrating of the earth at your feet. Especially you take comfort in the 5:48 P.M. because it signals the waning of the day and the coming of night which is your best time so you can sink back into sleep, head filling with sleep that no train whistle or clattering freight cars can penetrate.

Except today, a day you haven't yet noted has a date, is to be different. Tonight, you'll have a damned hard time getting to sleep.

Those mare's-tail clouds in the northern sky over Lake Ontario looking as if they'd been torn apart by angry fingers.

"Jesus. What?"

For there is getting to be something wrong. You're seeing it now. The steady speed of the car, the rapid approach of the train. Perpendicular lines, forces. Route 39, the raised railroad tracks. Instinctively you've been waiting for the car to slow. To brake to a stop at the crossing. You've begun to recognize the car, belongs to a local resident, Duncan Quade you're thinking though thinking too that you haven't seen the man in Texas Hots for a long time, nor anywhere in town; you haven't time to think It isn't Quade, even drunk he knows better than to race a train ...

Take Me, Take Me with You
A Novel of Suspense
. Copyright © by Lauren Kelly. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Lauren Kelly is one pseudonym of Joyce Carol Oates, a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. Oates's most recent novel, The Falls, was a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington Post Best Book of 2004, and a Chicago Tribune Top Ten Book of 2004. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she was a recipient of the Commonwealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature. In 2005 she was awarded France's Prix Femina for The Falls.

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Take Me, Take Me with You 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book. I have to say I have never read an author as bad as this. the book jumps back and forth, from 1993 back to the 70's. The story line was simple but the writing was awful. I do NOT recommend this book...
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a waste of time! You know I stood in the bookstore NOT planning on buying anything when I stumbled upon this book. I read the inside cover and then started reading a few chapters. I decided I couldn't leave with out the book. What a mistake. I have to say that the back flap said something along the lines that this book was written under a pseudonym name...of a bestselling author. Wow, I thought how could I go wrong. The book goes back and forth from 1971 and 1993 telling about a few specific days in Lara's life. She gets tangled up with a guy named Zed and the mystery begins. A weird thriller that takes you nowhere. Or that's my opinion. This writing was familiar to me somehow so I did a search on my computer and came up with Joyce Carol Oates, it appears she wrote this. This answered a lot of questions for me, like why does this horrible writing seem familiar? Because I have read a novel or two of hers and hated them. Some of the reviews for this were wonderful so I have to wonder what's wrong with me! So, read at your own risk!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those who like their suspense novels with a twist of psychology then shaken with sharply drawn characters will take a liking to Lauren Kelly's promising debut novel. A pseudonymous offering, it is crafted with the deft skill of a master quitter who skillfully alternates times some 20 years apart to stitch together the pieces of this gripping tale. As a child Lara Quade loved her parents, and she believed they loved her despite the abuse. '...Momma didn't mean to hurt me when she slapped me, or shook me by the shoulders cursing me saying, why'd I ever come into the world, when I cried Momma would stop right away like she'd been in a trance......Like she was ashamed. Like it was her own self she'd been hurting.' The abuse was only a small part of Lara's childhood. One day her mother put Lara and her older brother into the car and drove the three of them into a freight train. Move ahead 22 years and we find Lara working as an assistant at the Institute for Semiotics, Aesthetics and Cultural Research at Princeton. One may have to look closely to see the web-like scars covering her face, but the emotional scars are deep and ugly. One day she receives a prime ticket to an upcoming concert in her office mail box. It is sent anonymously. Perhaps, she thinks it is someone who admires her and knows she likes classical music, preferably the piano. Her seat mate at the concert is Zedrick Dewe, a young man, rather mysterious, who seems to know her. She finds herself drawn to him for reasons she cannot explain. Lara invites him back to her apartment, an invitation which should never have been issued. As that meeting becomes horror and additional pain as Lara is forced to confront the sins of her mother and father. Take Me, Take Me With You is a suspense propelled in depth probing of the human psyche. Highly recommended.