Excerpt from Yellow by Janni Visman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Yellow

A Novel

by Janni Visman

Yellow by Janni Visman X
Yellow by Janni Visman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 192 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 192 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt



I know I am upset: I cannot decide which shoes to wear. It shouldn't be difficult. I make my choices simple. I have the same shoe — loafers, sensible with stitching on the uppers — in a number of colours. Variations on a theme. For months I have been wearing blue. I am a creature of habit. Today I have taken the red ones from their place on the shoe rack. On my left foot I have the red shoe. On my right I have the blue. I am wondering about the choice of socks. Everything has a domino effect. Change the colour of the shoes and the colour of the sock also has to be considered. With blue I always wear green. With red, white. There have to be rules.

I am upset about the bracelet. I timed Ivan. It took him seven minutes to put it on, not including the two minutes he took to clean his nails before he started. I think he knew I’d ask him to put the bracelet on again. As if he had been mentally preparing himself from the moment I saw it.

"Put it back on," I said. I touched his hand as I said it, tried to keep my voice apologetic.

"Well, if you insist…" he said. He put on a Scottish accent, raised one eyebrow, gave a full smile. Ivan uses his Sean Connery impersonations in times of potential danger. He is a firm believer in using humour to dissipate difficult situations. He flipped the bracelet on to its back and dragged it off the table towards him; it made a light clunking ratchet sound. He kept his eyes on me, gave me a small tilt of his head and then a crooked smile and wink. He has one blue eye and one green. He always winks with the green eye, the left one. Lately, when he does it, the wrinkles around his eye deepen so much it becomes prune-like. I made him aware of this fact as he wrapped the thing around his wrist and then laid his arm on the table. He ignored me and manoeuvred the clasp into a more accessible position. He focused on the task. He remained calm. I watched alternately his busy fingers and my watch. Seven minutes and then he punched the air. The right arm. Bracelet intact. "Mission accomplished, Miss Moneypenny."

I object to being "Miss Moneypenny." Bond never had sex with "Miss Moneypenny." Ivan cleared his throat: it is his way of reminding me I am closer to forty than thirty. Silence. "Seven minutes is a long time," I said. He told me it took him longer when he put the bracelet on the first time. To console me or to alleviate suspicion. He touched my hand as he said it. He made sure to use his left hand.

On my left foot I have a red shoe. On the right I have a blue. The cat is watching me looking at my feet. When my eyes meet his he gives a plaintive mew, comes forward, quick staccato steps, and butts the toe of the red shoe with his head. George likes feet. He jumps up on the bed beside me, puts his front paws on my legs and offers me his ears to rub. It is our morning ritual: I put my shoes on, he gets his ears rubbed. I always wear shoes. There is always the possibility that I might have to leave in a hurry.

On my left foot I have the red shoe. On the right I have the blue. If I wear the red shoes Ivan will know I am upset. I explain this to George as I move him away. I take the red shoe off and replace it with the blue. Ivan is in the kitchen drying up. We smiled at each other after he won his task. Nothing was said. He began to wash up, I put the peelings into the compost, wiped the table, swept the floor, went to put my shoes on. I can hear his deliberate movements from the sink to the cupboard, stacking the plates, arranging the cutlery.

From Yellow by Janni Visman, pages 3-15. Copyright Janni Visman 2005. All rights reserved.  Reproduced with the permission of Viking USA.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.