Excerpt from The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

The Laws of Gravity

by Liz Rosenberg

The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg X
The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2013, 298 pages
    May 2013, 298 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

October 2010
Halloween: I Told You I Was Sick

The Huntington School District had decided to hold its registration in the fall, instead of spring—so Nicole found herself registering her daughter, Daisy, for kindergarten on Halloween. As she signed the form, her coat sleeve slid back and the childhood scar on the inside of her wrist revealed itself.

The neighborhood was a riot of witches, goblins, and ghosts hanging from doorways. Front yards were converted to graveyards with cardboard headstones that read "Now I'll finally have some peace and quiet," "I told you I was sick."

"I want our pumpkin to look friendly," Daisy had said. "I want people to come to our door." Not many trick-or-treaters would show up, although Nicole had strung orange lanterns over the house and put out a smiling jack-o'-lantern and would keep the porch lights burning till nine. Potter's Lane was a narrow street up a small steep hill from town, and most kids would skip the incline.

Daisy would be one of the older kindergartners next fall. Nicole and her husband, Jay, had debated about whether it was best to push her forward or hold her back. She was a September baby—typical Virgo, the eternal caretaker, order-loving, neat as a pin.

"Think about it this way," Nicole's best friend, Mimi, said. "Do you want Daisy going off to college when she's only seventeen?"

"No," Nicole said. "I don't want her going off to college ever."

"You'll change your mind when she's fifteen and steals all your makeup," Mimi said. Mimi was the wife of Nicole's cousin, Ari, which made the two friends feel related. "Blood is thicker than water, but I never understood why that was a good thing," Mimi would say. They spoke on the phone every day, sometimes more. It might be just Mimi testing out a new joke, but Nicole was a bad test audience, she said—she always laughed. Mimi was a comedy writer. Occasionally she performed stand-up, though she suffered from stage fright. She taught comedy writing at Nassau Community College; she lectured about it at elder hostels; she ghostwrote for famous comics; she took being funny seriously.

Nicole stood alone in the main corridor in her wool coat among a gaggle of other women, most of them ten years younger than she. All of these young women seemed to know each other and stood chatting in a close knot of five or six. Nicole wished Mimi were there to keep her company, crack some jokes. A few of the younger mothers rocked baby carriages back and forth, perpetual motion machines. Nicole felt lonely, like an outsider. She hoped this didn't mean that Daisy would be, too. The parents—nearly all of them mothers, with one or two fathers skulking around—lined up and filled out the kindergarten registration forms. They listened to a woman trying to enlist them in future PTA fund-raising events. Finally they were all congratulated, then dismissed like schoolchildren themselves.

Nicole clutched her registration form as she made her way blindly down the hall. She was shocked by the desolation she felt at the prospect of leaving her daughter in public school all day. The tiled walls were painted a pale institutional blue that no sprucing-up or Halloween decorations could disguise. Daisy now went to a Montessori preschool program three mornings a week. What would it be like dropping her off at eight every morning, not getting her back till almost three in the afternoon? The hours apart seemed to stretch ahead endlessly. They had begun a long, steady process of separation from which there was no return.

A large boy came racing by, probably a fifth-grader. His hair fell over his eyes, his belly bounced as he ran. He was as tall as a grown man. Nicole felt tempted to holler at him, Pay attention! Daisy was still petite, almost Lilliputian, the lower fifth percentile in both height and weight.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg. Copyright © 2013 by Liz Rosenberg. Excerpted by permission of Amazon Publishing. 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!

Beyond the Book:
  Sources for Stem Cells

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • 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 Discussion
Book Jacket
The Dry by Jane Harper

Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • 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

  • Book Jacket

    Our Lady of the Prairie
    by Thisbe Nissen

    A razor-sharp freight train barreling through the heart of the land and the land of the heart.
    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.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

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.