Excerpt from October Suite by Maxine Clair, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

October Suite

A Novel

By Maxine Clair

October Suite
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Oct 2001,
    324 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2002,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Though she understood and felt a little guilty, she palmed the air and hunched her shoulders as if to say, I don't know what you're talking about. He did a little up-up motion with his thumb, she hurried to raise the window.

His mouth looked like it wanted to smile. "You don't have to worry, I'm just putting up storm windows," he said. "Can you give me a hand and unhook your screen?"

"Sure," she said, and undid the four metal hook-and-eyes that held in the screen.

He pulled the screen out, tossed it like a saucer to the ground. "Stay right there for a minute, do you mind?"

Back down the ladder he went, then climbed slowly up again, lugging a heavy storm window in one hand. This time he stood higher on the ladder so that they were nearly face to face.

"Mr. Pemberton's got too many windows," he said and chuckled a little, held on to the wood-frame window, looked right at her too long. She didn't know whether to smile or frown. What was he looking at? But anyway there was his easy, fleshy mouth to focus on, maybe.

Automatically her hands went to smooth her hair and at the same time cover the white splash of vitiligo on her cheek. But then her thoughts caught up. This was her room. He really had no business up here, and she didn't have to look like she was dressed for school.

He wore a rag of a shirt with rolled sleeves and no buttons, no collar, so that he might as well have been bare from the waist up. Repositioning the large storm window, he was---for two seconds---a three-dimensional man in a window. Focused on his task now, he bit his bottom lip with those white teeth and hoisted the window into position. Her eyes caught on the patch of fine hairs that parted just below his navel where his dark pants rode loosely on his hips. He was short, muscular in a smooth, curvy way.

"When I slide this into the frame, you hook the top and bottom, okay?" he said.

He slid in the storm window and tapped it solidly with his hands. She hooked all four of the hooks.

"Thanks," he said through the glass. "You're handy to have around." And he disappeared down the ladder, whistling something he probably made up.

October finished the zipper, pressed the suit, took a bath in the hall bathroom, dripped her way back, fighting the impulse to whistle. Whistling woman, cackling hen, always come to no good end. She laid the suit on the bed and congratulated herself. The Vogue Pattern Company wouldn't know hers from the one in the picture: nutmeg with a straight skirt, kick pleats, a cropped jacket; double-breasted, with covered buttons and self-belt with the special pewter buckle she had retrieved from one of her aunt Maude's throwaways.

Noon came and she put it on, set off the collar with a white rayon blouse. She saw herself on her way to the Du Bois Club meeting, coming down to the front room and encountering tall skinny Albertine. Or, better yet, walking across the lawn of the YWCA, right past proper Mary Esther and the others dressed in their serious-and-dedicated blouses and reasonable-navy or practical-beige skirts, their correct nylons and low pumps. And she smiled at the mirror, glad not to see a schoolmarm standing there.

Excerpted from October Suite by Maxine Clair Copyright 2001 by Maxine Clair. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.