Excerpt from Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Cover The Butter

by Carrie Kabak

Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak X
Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Prologue 1995

On Sunday, April 16, 1995, I vowed I would never sleep with my husband, Rodney, again.

It was the day I opened the door to 75 Copper Lane and swung my luggage onto the tiled floor of the hall. Then I remember skidding, and landing hard on my rear. As I sat in cat vomit, Velcro greeted me, waving his string of a tail.

"Bad cat!"

I hoped that was all I would find after my neighbor Pam had accosted me outside with: "Bad news for you, I'm afraid, Kate. We had to call the police."

What the hell happened?

"Shit, what happened?"

"A bit noisy in the wee hours. High spirits, that's all. You're a brave soul, letting Charlie have a party."

Party. Oh damn, yes, the party. Tossing my jacket in the direction of the washing machine, I headed for the kitchen in search of mop and bucket.

And I froze.

I stood for a while with my eyes closed until I felt ready to look again.

Shards, chunks and splinters of glass formed a neat pile in one corner. Congealed egg yolk streaked down walls. Curtains hung by one hook from rails. The dishwasher yawned open with a load of beer cans and foil cartons. In the sink, cigarette stubs and globs of pizza floated in beige water.

And a stagnant pool puddled by the back door.

Someone had peed in my kitchen.

To hell with the sunflower-yellow cabinets I'd sanded and painted, the shelves I'd sawed and measured for the turquoise canisters. To hell with all the blue-striped salt and pepper pots I'd collected for eighteen years. Eighteen years! To hell with the floor I'd stripped and polished until my knees throbbed. Someone had peed in my kitchen.

I ran upstairs and banged on my son's door with clenched fists.

"Follow me," was all I could say.

And he did. He sauntered downstairs with a coffee mug in his hand.

I stood in the middle of the mess and looked at him, and when I read the cool indifference in his face, tears stung my eyes.

"Chill out, Mom," he said. "It was just a party. You know—gatecrashers and all. No big deal."

Charlie didn't care. It was at that point I remember drowning in a spin of fury and confusion. He didn't bloody care! Smashing plates to the floor, and why the hell not, please let me join in the fun too, I watched them explode into little pieces. Six, seven, eight, nine shattering plates. And when I was done, when I saw Charlie gazing through the window, tapping his foot to a tune in his head, it was then I slumped onto a chair and covered my face with my hands.

What had happened to my little boy? I felt his downy head under my chin, smelled his familiar baby-scent of talcum powder and milk. I heard his first words, his chuckling laugh, saw again the liquid of his brown eyes. I ached with love for him, but reality had punched me hard in the stomach this time. As much as I wanted to hold him, and search his face for the love I couldn't see anymore, I resisted.

I snapped a paper towel from the roll to blot my face. Now bend down, Kate, open the doors under the sink, and throw the paper towel away. I gave myself orders, needing to function.

Reprinted from Cover the Butter by Carrie Kabak, pages 1-13, with permission from Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 20054 by Carrie Kabak. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Miracle Creek
    Miracle Creek
    by Angie Kim
    Miracle Creek, the debut novel from Angie Kim, hinges on the mysterious explosion of an oxygen tank....
  • Book Jacket: Courting Mr. Lincoln
    Courting Mr. Lincoln
    by Louis Bayard
    19 out of 21 of our First Impression Reviewers rated Louis Bayard's latest novel, Courting Mr. ...
  • Book Jacket
    Transcription
    by Kate Atkinson
    Over her two-decade-plus career, Kate Atkinson has reinvented herself as a writer several times by ...
  • Book Jacket: Exhalation
    Exhalation
    by Ted Chiang
    Exhalation is an assemblage of nine short stories and novellas written by Ted Chiang, a computer ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Women Rowing North
    by Mary Pipher

    The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of Reviving Ophelia.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Guest Book
    by Sarah Blake

    "An American epic in the truest sense…"
    Entertainment Weekly
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Her Kind of Case
by Jeanne Winer

A highly-recommended emotion-filled legal drama with three starred reviews!

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Miracle Creek

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie...

A thrilling debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I T S Form O F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

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.