Excerpt from Envy by Kathryn Harrison, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Envy

A Novel

by Kathryn Harrison

Envy by Kathryn Harrison
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Wow, Will is about to say when Sue turns to her husband and says, "Rob, this is Will Moreland, an old fuck-buddy of mine."

Whether Rob is mute or only, like Will, horrified into silence, he thrusts his big, freckled hand forward without saying a word. The two men shake, silent in the clamor all around them, and then each drops his hand to his side and looks at Sue to see what might happen next.

"Rob's a debt analyst," she says.

"Really!" Will exclaims.

"Yes."

They all nod.

"Hey, hey," Sue says. "How about that brother of yours, huh? We're major fans. Major."

"He has had a spectacular ride." For once, Will is relieved when the conversation turns to his brother.

"Oh, I don't know. There's heaps of athletes that are celebrities."

"Of course, yes," Will says. "I know that. I just—"

"Is he here?"

"Here?"

"At the reunion. Here at the reunion."

"No. I'm afraid not."

"Oh, too bad. I really wanted to catch a glimpse of him."

Me, too, Will thinks as Sue and her husband move off. Having not heard from his brother for fifteen years now, during which time Mitch went from being known in the world of elite swimmers to being known by just about everyone, Will fantasized that Mitch might actually show up. If he's honest with himself, the hope of seeing his brother was at least part of what persuaded him to attend the reunion—especially after he'd learned that Andrew Goldstein, the one friend with whom he'd kept in touch after college, wouldn't be coming because his wife's due date fell on the same weekend. Not that seeing Mitch would be pleasant or, Will imagines, anything less than traumatic, but he's fed up with having to manage his private anguish even as he's forced to admit sheepishly to friends, colleagues, neighbors, and now alumni that he's no better informed about his brother's latest stunt swim—as Will has come to think of them—than the average reader of Sports Illustrated.

"Hello," says a voice behind him, startling Will out of what Carole would call one of his social desertions, when he becomes a spectator rather than a participant. He turns in the direction of the flirtatious tone he almost recognizes. As for the face: arresting, angular, unforgettable. Thinner than she used to be, but no less substantial—she looks concentrated, a distillate of her younger self.

"Elizabeth," he says.

"William." She tilts her head to one side, lifts her eyebrows. "Were you looking for someone?"

"You, of course. Who else?" Will unbuttons his shirt collar and loosens his tie. "Do you think I didn't scour each of those e-mail bulletins listing who was planning to attend, hoping—hoping against hope—to see your name?"

"Can it be?" Elizabeth says. "Has Mr. Fatally Earnest developed a sense of humor?"

"Only in extremis."

Elizabeth glances around herself. "I guess this qualifies," she says.

Excerpted from Envy by Kathryn Harrison Copyright © 2005 by Kathryn Harrison. Excerpted by permission of Random House, 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: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...
  • Book Jacket: Piecing Me Together
    Piecing Me Together
    by Renee Watson
    Race and class in American culture certainly dominate the news right now. These two things seem to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Courage - a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

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.

 
Modal popup -