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
  • 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


Above the bins a limp condom hung over a pipe like a dead slug.

I'd hardly noticed Charlie's transition from child to . . . to the age when . . .

He peered under the sink. "It's not mine," he said.

"Get rid of it."

I sent him to his room. I didn't want his help. I needed the time to think. To plan.

As I tidied, disinfected, scrubbed, and bleached, I drank three double shots of Rodney's Scotch, one for each hour, and somehow managed to put a meal together afterward.

Charlie ate it, then left.

Sleep, eat, leave. That was the pattern now. Sunday, April 16, 1995, was the day I realized I could no longer cling to the reason I'd stayed so long. My son was no longer a child. I'd filled this home with handmade quilts, chutneys, stripped pine, and wicker baskets. I'd built this nest twig by twig for Charlie, but he no longer needed it. Or cared for it. I wasn't sure if he cared for me anymore.

When the cotton wool left my mouth and the knot at the back of my neck unraveled after too much single malt, it was time to taste the musty oak in a glass of Shiraz.

Or two.

I set wine, a slice of bread, and a wedge of cheese on the table and sat down to think some more. Then in came Rodney.

"You're back," I said. "How was the golf?"

"Good."

He slammed his house keys onto the pine table I waxed every day and walked over to the microwave. "Is this my dinner?" He peered at the plate inside, then jabbed at the buttons to warm his meal.

Mephistopheles snarled and Marguerite wailed. I'd put on opera, Gounod's Faust, and I'd turned it up good and loud, really loud, to help me think. Rodney snapped off my music, switched on the TV, and proceeded to watch the history of the Wolves Football Club.

He stared ahead at the screen and twirled strings of pasta around his fork. The starchy ball wouldn't fit into his mouth, so he gobbled at it.

His hair stuck up in tufts and I tried to find it endearing.

I tried to love the sound of his voice. "Kick the ball into the bloody net, you great fairy," he growled, waving a fist.

I tried to yearn for the touch of those thin lips that bristled with a moustache the texture of coconut husk.

"Rod, look at me for a second." I searched for emotion in those milky eyes. "Charlie's party got out of hand."

"Oh, dear."

His eyes floated back to the TV.

"Rod, they drank beer and more besides, and for some reason, they stacked the cans in the dishwasher and dropped an empty bottle of vodka into the fish tank."

"GOAL! And about sodding time!"

"At least, I think it was empty. Goldie seems none the worse, but Fred is swimming in spirals and Mabel is floating belly-up. A couple of our lamp shades are cracked, the brandy goblets are in pieces, and should we cut Charlie's allowance to pay for replacements?"

"The referee's blowing the whistle. Would you bloody believe it?"

"Isn't the game you're watching three years old? I'm afraid I smashed nine plates. Someone peed in the kitchen and you won't believe what else I found. Five broken canisters, four exploded light bulbs—"

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.