Excerpt from I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

I'm Looking Through You

Growing Up Haunted

by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan X
I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2008, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I knew well enough to let Paddy have his way in these discussions, even though I didn't exactly understand what the power of virtual reality was, not that it hadn't been explained to me again and again. "It's the power to turn your imagination into reality," Paddy said, exasperated that such an explanation was even necessary.

I'm not saying the power of virtual reality isn't a good thing. Honestly I'm not. But I've been in lots of situations in which super–speed would have been extremely useful.

Boyd got up from his table and started heading toward us. "Shit," said Brandy. "Here we go again."
She took me by the hand. "Come on, follow me." We walked out into the foyer, then into the ladies room. Brandy leaned against the wall, next to the paper towel dispenser and grinned at me. "So what do you think?"

"About what?"

Brandy rolled her eyes. "Duh, Jenny," she said.

I appeared to have agreed to something that had not been put into words.

"Look at you," she said. "You're trembling like a leaf!"

"I am not."

"The fuck you're not. Come on. It's really okay."

She pulled me into the handicap stall. Then she drew toward me and put her arms around my back and hugged me. Her body was soft and warm, and her head fell against my shoulder. I was a lot taller than Brandy.

"It's really okay," she whispered, and then she raised her head and kissed me on the lips. Then she kissed me again. I felt her breasts pressing against mine. "Nngg, Jenny," she said. "Nnnngg."
I pulled back. Incredibly, my first concern in this skanky situation was making sure I didn't hurt Brandy's feelings.

"Listen," I said. "You're sweet, but you know, like—"

"Please," said Brandy achingly. "It's my birthday."

And I thought, It's her birthday?

"You don't understand," I said. "I'm married."

Brandy didn't understand what this had to do with anything. "So?" she said. "I'm married, too!"
I heard the voice of Jimmy Stewart in the back of my head: This is a very unusual situation!

"I should go," I said.

"Wait," she said. On the wall behind her were phone numbers, profanities, names of men and women enclosed with hearts. Her eyes filled with tears. I didn't want to wait for her, was in fact more than eager to get out of this particular situation. But I couldn't leave.

"What?"

Tears rolled down her cheeks. "Nobody knows me," she said.

"Brandy," I said. "I'm sure that's not true."

"It's like having a dog. Like a Saint Bernard."

"What is?"

"The secrets," she whispered. "Everywhere I go, they have to go, too."

"What secrets?" I said.

She laughed to herself. "What secrets," she said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, what her secrets were.

"Have you thought about talking to someone?" I said.

"Jenny?" She looked at me as if I were on drugs. "I'm talking to you."

"I mean, you know. A professional."

"You mean like a shrink?" she said, stunned by the suggestion. "Oh, I've talked to plenty of shrinks, believe me."

"Listen, Brandy. I don't know you. I'm just an English teacher."

"But that's what I need," she said. "An English teacher."

I tried to think of what could possibly be so wrong with her that the only thing that could help her was an English teacher. Nothing came to mind.

Excerpted from I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Wolf Season
    by Helen Benedict
    Rin Drummond's nicknames include "Pit Bull" and "Dragon." She's a tough-as-nails Iraq War ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...
  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Chalk Man
    by C. J. Tudor

    Relentlessly compelling psychological suspense. The must-read thriller debut of 2018.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Mothers of Sparta

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir

A dazzling literary memoir with shades of Mary Karr, Anne Lamott and Jenny Lawson.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A J O A Thousand M B W O S

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.