Excerpt from The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

The UnAmericans

Stories

by Molly Antopol

The UnAmericans by Molly Antopol
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2014, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I didn't tell Sveta how painful it was to hear my daughter announce, at the end of the summer, that she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life ("Neither do I!" I'd said. "And I'm sixty-three!"), that she'd chosen this career simply because she was terrified of never discovering what she did want—only then to run off to Jerusalem and return with Ya'akov. I didn't tell her how even walking from the subway to Beth's new apartment made me jittery and cold. I felt like I was walking back in time, back to when I was still a religious kid living in Brooklyn. Back when my family had enough money for a silver kiddush cup but not for new winter coats, back when we were just another poor family with too much faith in God.

Everything felt so new and fragile with Sveta that I didn't want to make the mistake of oversharing too soon. There was a huge part of me, hearing Sveta talk so openly about her marriage, that didn't want her to know my own had failed. And I knew my closeness to Beth—whom I'd always felt understood me better than anyone else in the world, including her mother—might sound odd if I attempted to describe it to another person. So I didn't tell her how Gail would snap about some mess I'd left in the kitchen and Beth would catch my gaze and roll her eyes: she had a way of making me feel she was on my side without ever explicitly saying so. I didn't tell her that when Beth wasn't around and we were left without a buffer, Gail and I could barely share a meal without a blowup. Everything I did ignited a fight: the way I chewed my food, the way I folded laundry, the way I made love. I told Gail it was impossible to live with someone so critical; Gail said it was impossible to live with a man who dealt with emotion by avoiding it altogether. But I had wanted to work things out—if not for us, then for Beth. I suggested counseling; Gail flew to Burlington and fucked a retired architect she had met online.

"The fantastic thing about Gail is that we're still great friends," I lied. "I couldn't imagine not being in touch after sharing so much."

Sveta touched my face. "I told Galina I wasn't ready for new somebody, but she said there were many other people out there."

I waited for her to finish the thought, but she didn't. She tucked her body around mine and shut her eyes, as if there were nothing left to say.

Excerpted from The Unamericans: Stories by Molly Antopol. Copyright © 2014 by Molly Antopol. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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:
  McCarthyism

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Do Not Become Alarmed
    Do Not Become Alarmed
    by Maile Meloy
    Full disclosure: I've never had any desire to go on a cruise. I start getting antsy and ...
  • Book Jacket: Priestdaddy
    Priestdaddy
    by Patricia Lockwood
    Patricia Lockwood is a poet and the daughter of Greg Lockwood, a Catholic priest. While Catholic ...
  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    by Julia Fierro

    One of the most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

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.