Summary and book reviews of Cover The Butter by Carrie Kabak

Cover The Butter

by Carrie Kabak

Cover The Butter
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Buoyant and deeply moving, Cover the Butter proves that starting over has nothing to do with age and everything to do with spirit.

Get ready to cheer for Kate Cadogan, a forty-something woman who has spent her life trying to please her husband, her son, her mother and her father without a moment’s thought to her own needs. Until one day when a series of events causes her to slip back in time…

For the first time Kate sees her life clearly—her dreams of becoming a caterer; the delicate yet combustible relationship she shares with her mother; and the unflagging support of her two best friends.

Kate finds the courage to make a break and energized by her newfound freedom, she creates a life all her own.

Buoyant and deeply moving, Cover the Butter proves that starting over has nothing to do with age and everything to do with spirit.

Prologue 1995

On Sunday, April 16, 1995, I vowed I would never sleep with my husband, Rodney, again.

It was the day I opened the door to 75 Copper Lane and swung my luggage onto the tiled floor of the hall. Then I remember skidding, and landing hard on my rear. As I sat in cat vomit, Velcro greeted me, waving his string of a tail.

"Bad cat!"

I hoped that was all I would find after my neighbor Pam had accosted me outside with: "Bad news for you, I'm afraid, Kate. We had to call the police."

What the hell happened?

"Shit, what happened?"

"A bit noisy in the wee hours. High spirits, that's all. You're a brave soul, letting Charlie have a party."

Party. Oh damn, yes, the party. Tossing my jacket in the direction of the washing machine, I headed...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Are the characters or their circumstances familiar to you? Does Kate as a child narrator sound the age she should be? Does her voice set in a particular place or time ring true?
     
  2. What style is Cover The Butter written in? First person, third person or both? Is the story told from one point of view or many?
     
  3. What do the characters do? Do you find their actions troubling? Are their actions consistent with their characters?
     
  4. What is Cover The Butter about? Does the book have a central theme? If so what? Does it have many themes? If so, how do they interlink? Is one theme more dominant than others?
     
  5. Where does everything take place? Do the changing locations and ...
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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

If you enjoyed Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman or Step-Ball-Change, this is likely to be a book for you.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (151 words).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Kabak's gift for describing wonderful food and decor, and her way of encapsulating decades in a few swift strokes, take this tale beyond the standard middle-age revenge formula.

Publishers Weekly

[S]cenes play out fluidly and are nicely detailed, particularly in Kate's sophisticated foodyism. Kabak doesn't provide the frisson of the racy TV mockudrama, but she does tell Kate's story with warmth and humor.

Booklist - Misha Stone

This is charming, compassionate look at how one woman discovers that self-fulfillment shouldn't be postponed forever.

Library Journal

Fans of Marian Keyes and Jane Green will particularly enjoy this work, which is recommended for public libraries.

Author Blurb Jeanne Ray, author.
Carrie Kabak's Cover the Butter is an extraordinary novel. It is poignant, sensitive, funny and original, and it fairly sings with life. I felt myself dissolve into it!

Reader Reviews

Elizabeth Day

Whoopee for Kate
I imagined this book would last me well into my short trip to Paris but I'd read it before I even arrived, which just shows how Kate's story grabbed me. Carrie Kabak is an illustrator as well as a painter and her artist's eye illuminated this book...   Read More

Danielle Schaaf

Cover The Butter
Carrie Kabak‚Äôs Cover The Butter is a wonderful and engaging read! Characters are richly drawn and they pulled all of my emotional strings: first empathy for Kate, later triumph; distaste, scorn and, ultimately, pity for Biddy, her mother; disdain ...   Read More

Susan Jeffrey

Not Just
What sets this book apart from much of the "chick lit" genre is that it describes in detail the abuse suffered by a girl at the hands of her mother, and shows how this abuse affected the choices she made as a young woman. I do feel this book would be...   Read More

Marie-Jeanne Trauth

Cover the Butter
Kate's mother always reminded her husband to cover the butter before lighting his post-supper cigarette. Kate--like so many women of her time--took this advice to heart and covered her personality to be the person others expected her to be. I cheered...   Read More

Write your own review!

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

Carrie Kabak assures us that Cover The Butter is not autobiographical.  However, it would seem that she has much in common with her protagonist.  Like Kate, she was discouraged from following her artistic talent and desires and instead was directed firmly towards a "real job".  She says, "At eighteen, it was time to line up for career advice at school. The Head Teacher studied our exam results. She pointed to each girl, teacher, bank, nurse, teacher, bank, nurse. I was labelled 'teacher' and encouraged to train for a real job.... So I went to Cardiff University to train as a French, English and Art teacher. At college, an English professor pulled me to one side. Why was I teaching, he asked. Why wasn't I ...

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Cover The Butter, try these:

  • Mimi Malloy, At Last! jacket

    Mimi Malloy, At Last!

    by Julia MacDonnell

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Mimi Malloy, At Last! is an unforgettable novel, alive with humor, unexpected romance, and the magic of hard-earned insight: a poignant reminder that it's never too late to fall in love and that one can always come of age a second time.

  • Becoming Strangers jacket

    Becoming Strangers

    by Louise Dean

    Published 2007

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Two couples meet in a luxurious Caribbean resort - one pair older, the other younger. As their paths cross during the week, each couple struggles with what has been keeping them apart.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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: 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 ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

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

    Read Member Reviews

  • 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 Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

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.