Excerpt from Alone With You by Marisa Silver, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Alone With You


by Marisa Silver

Alone With You by Marisa Silver X
Alone With You by Marisa Silver
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2010, 164 pages
    Apr 2011, 176 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BJ Nathan Hegedus

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

When Vivian’s mother was sick, she’d stayed in the hospital for months at a time, and Vivian and her father learned how to get along in the house without her. Vivian cooked breakfast and dinner, and her father did the grocery shopping on his way home from the jewelry store. After dinner he would wash the dishes and Vivian would clean the table and the counters. They saw her mother every evening during visiting hours. Sometimes if her mother were very sick, Vivian wasn’t allowed in the room, and she would sit in the waiting area until her father came out. He’d always say something cheerful, like “The doctor feels confident,” or “She had a good day,” and Vivian would respond in kind, knowing he needed her to play along. Once back home, her father would turn on the television. He kept it on all night to avoid the new silence in the house.

One day Vivian decided that instead of going straight home from school she would take the bus to the mall and meet up with her father there. Maybe they could go out for dinner on their way to the hospital. After walking a block from the bus stop, she entered the dead weather of the mall. It was almost Easter, and a person dressed as a bunny hopped down the corridors, promoting a candy store by handing out chocolate eggs to children. Vivian rode the escalator to the second floor where her father’s store was. Through the glass storefront, she saw her father come out from behind the counter to fasten a woman’s necklace. The woman’s neck was long and pale, and her dark hair was drawn to the side and over one shoulder to make way for the jewelry. When Vivian’s father was finished with the clasp, he took the woman’s hair and spread it carefully along her back, as if he were smoothing down a wrinkled dress. He rested his hands on the woman’s shoulders while she admired herself in a handheld mirror. Vivian’s throat went dry. She left the mall and took the bus home. She never asked her father about what she had seen. She knew that if she did, her life would split open and she would slip through the crack.

In a few months, Vivian’s mother’s recovery was certain, and she came home. She was weak for a time, resting in bed most of the day, but little by little she began to take up her household chores again, cooking and cleaning, although she never went back to work. One night, when Vivian and her parents were seated at the table about to eat their dinner, her father started crying. Vivian had never seen her father cry and it frightened her. He was just so happy, he said, shaking his head at the folly of his emotion. Vivian’s mother sat in her chair and smiled shyly, like a girl watching a boy approach across a dance floor and realizing that he has singled her out from all the girls around her.

A knock on her door made Vivian realize that she had almost been asleep. The door opened a crack and Toby stood silhouetted against the light of the outer room.

“Shelly just called,” he said. “She’s not coming back tonight.”

“Oh,” Vivian said, sleepily, not quite understanding. But then she found herself moving over in bed and lifting the covers as an invitation. Toby stepped into the room, took off his clothes, and slid in beside her. His skin was warm, and when he moved on top of her Vivian felt the thin tautness of his body. She put her arms around his narrow shoulders as if he were a log floating in a river on which she could rest to catch her breath.

“Just for now,” he whispered into her neck as he began to move faster on top of her. He was boyish in the way he announced his orgasm, and she felt protective of him as he rested, spent, in her arms. She wondered if she cared for him, if it mattered to her that tomorrow he would likely be gone for good, Shelly having obviously had enough of him. Was it possible to care and not to care at the very same moment, the way it was possible to be a husband and not, a parent and not?

Excerpted from Alone With You by Marisa Silver. Copyright © 2010 by Marisa Silver. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster. 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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Ensemble
    The Ensemble
    by Aja Gabel
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital ...
  • Book Jacket: The Electric Woman
    The Electric Woman
    by Tessa Fontaine
    In 2010, author Tessa Fontaine's mother had a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, leaving her with a...
  • Book Jacket: The Female Persuasion
    The Female Persuasion
    by Meg Wolitzer
    A college freshman struggling for identity. A 1960s feminist icon attempting to maintain her ...
  • Book Jacket: A Lucky Man
    A Lucky Man
    by Jamel Brinkley
    If his debut collection of short stories, A Lucky Man is any indicator, Jamel Brinkley is poised on ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Eternal Life
    by Dara Horn

    The award-winning author returns with an ingenious novel about what it would mean to live forever.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Comedown

The Comedown by Rebekah Frumkin

A blistering dark comedy that explores delineating lines of race, class, religion, and time.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.