Excerpt from In Fidelity by M.J. Rose, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

In Fidelity

by M.J. Rose

In Fidelity
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


In my life, whenever I had been confused or distraught, I had returned to my grandmother in her hundred-year-old house, perched on a tiny peninsula of land jutting out into the Long Island Sound on the Connecticut side, and found instant comfort with her among the familiar furniture and smells -- it was coming home.

My grandmother was as solid and constant as her house and I still missed her.

There were others I missed too: my father, who had died when I was nineteen; the man my estranged husband had been before he betrayed me; and my mother, who -- though still alive -- had always been just beyond the reach of my arms.


"You don't even make an effort to like Cooper," Lilly finally said, bringing me back to the present.

"That's not true, sweetheart. I just worry that he has so much influence over you that you are losing yourself in him."

"That is not at all what's happening. I'm still who I was before I met him; I'm just in love now."

It wouldn't do any good to remind Lilly of the male friends she had forsaken because Cooper was jealous of them, or the extracurricular activities she had abandoned since they'd met.

My knowledge of psychology had never helped when it came to raising my own daughter. Only my grandmother's sage advice had guided me through the minefields of motherhood. But she was gone -- dying only weeks after my mother had moved her to San Francisco. I had fought to keep her in her own home, suggesting we hire nurses to help her navigate the maze of senility that was confusing her mind, but my mother and her second husband had moved her out west to be near them.

It had killed the little that was left of my grandmother to be away from her gardens, her beach, and her chintz-covered couches. How could she have been comfortable in a house that was a stark reflection of the Oriental culture my mother had embraced since moving out to California?

Lilly poured herself more tea and rearranged her legs beneath her. She was restless in the one place I never was. When snow covered the ground and dusted the evergreens that sheltered the house from the winter winds coming off the sound, I found solace there. Lighting fires in the great stone fireplace, making spiced cider, and reading mysteries was as satisfying an escape as basking in the summer sun on the small private beach or getting dirty working in the extensive English cottage gardens.

In the winter, the house smelled of pine and burning wood. In the spring the scent of lilacs filled every room until the roses took over in June. It was a house for all seasons. But Lilly, who was a junior in a private high school in New York City, had not been here for months. When Cooper was in the city, she stayed there to be with him, and on the weekends Cooper remained at school, Lilly preferred to be with her father and work with him in his darkroom.

That late March weekend, since it was my birthday, Lilly had acquiesced to come to Connecticut with me.

As a child of separated parents, Lilly's life had been less complicated than most, since her father and I still lived under the same roof, just on different floors. Robert and I owned a brownstone in Greenwich Village on West Ninth Street, and when we split up, he just moved upstairs to his studio, while Lilly and I continued living on the second floor. The office where I practice psychotherapy occupies the first floor.

Even though Robert and I had been apart for five years, neither of us had remarried, so Lilly had not yet felt the full tragedy the dissolution of a union can cause a child. Where he and I slept had less of an effect on her than a divorce would have. At least that was what I hoped.

It had taken years for our separation to cease having an effect on me, but I was over it finally. Cured, healed, and pain free, I had finally called a divorce lawyer to schedule a meeting and begin proceedings.

Copyright © 2000 by M.J. Rose. For permission to reproduce this excerpt please contact the author at http://www.mjrose.com

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

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

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

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

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

    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.