“There are no safe choices. Only other choices.”
“Shall I tell you a story? A new and terrible one? A ghost story? Are you ready? Shall I begin? Once upon a time there were four girls. One was pretty. One was clever. One charming, and one...one was mysterious. But they were all damaged, you see. Something not right about the lot of them. Bad blood. Big dreams. Oh, I left that part out. Sorry, that should have come before. They were all dreamers, these girls. One by one, night after night, the girls came together. And they sinned. Do you know what that sin was? No one? Pippa? Ann? Their sin was that they believed. Believed they could be different. Special. They believed they could change what they were--damaged, unloved. Cast-off things. They would be alive, adored, needed. Necessary. But it wasn't true. This is a ghost story remember? A tragedy. They were misled. Betrayed by their own stupid hopes. Things couldn't be different for them, because they weren't special after all. So life took them, led them, and they went along, you see? They faded before their own eyes, till they were nothing more than living ghosts, haunting each other with what could be. With what can't be. There, now. Isn't that the scariest story you've ever heard?”
“Because you don't notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it till you get it exactly right.”
“I run after her, not really giving chase. I’m running because I can, because I must.
Because I want to see how far I can go before I have to stop.”
“How I'd love to get away from here and be someone else for a while in a place where no one knows or expects certain things from me.”
“In every end, there is also a beginning.”
“What happens if your choice is misguided?' I ask, softly.
Miss Moore takes a pear from the bowl and offers us the grapes to devour. 'You must try to correct it.'
'But what if it’s too late? What if you can’t?'
There's a sad sympathy in Miss Moore's catlike eyes as she regards my painting again. She paints the thinnest sliver of shadow along the bottom of the apple, bringing it fully to life.
'Then you must find a way to live with it.”
“Felicity ignores us. She walks out to them, an apparition in white and blue velvet, her head held high as they stare in awe at her, the goddess. I don't know yet what power feels like. But this is surely what it looks like, and I think I'm beginning to understand why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why our parents and suitors want us to behave properly and predictably. It's not that they want to protect us; it's that they fear us.”
“I wonder how many times each day she dies a little.”
“I'm sorry, Gemma. But we can't live in the light all of the time. You have to take whatever light you can hold into the dark with you.”
“There's a lot about discovering who you are and how difficult that is. And it never stops.”
“No one asks how or what I am doing. They could not care less. We’re all looking glasses, we girls, existing only to reflect their images back to them as they’d like to be seen. Hollow vessels of girls to be rinsed of our own ambitions, wants, and opinions, just waiting to be filled with the cool, tepid water of gracious compliance.
A fissure forms in the vessel. I’m cracking open.”
“If you tell them what they want to hear, they don't bother to try to see.”
“May I suggest that you all read? And often. Believe me, it's nice to have something to talk about other than the weather and the Queen's health. Your mind is not a cage. It's a garden. And it requires cultivating.”
“But forgiveness...I'll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We're each of us our own...bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there's an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
“I changed the world; the world changed me.
Everything you do comes back to you. When you affect a situation, you are also affected.”
“It's possible to pretend I'm someone other than who I am, and if I pretend long enough, I can believe it.”
“I want to ask him if it’s possible that a girl can be born unlovable, or does she just become that way?”
“Women who have power are always feared.”
“I fear I will always have to chase the things I want. I'll always have to wonder whether I'm truly wanted or whether I've just been settled for.”
“I refuse to let the past find me here.”
“I had thought Felicity dangerous a moment ago, when she felt powerful. I was wrong. Wounded and powerless, she is more dangerous than I could imagine.”
“I can see his pain, see it in the way he runs his fingers through his hair, over and over, and I understand what it costs him to hide it all.”
“What do you feel? I’ve never been asked this question once. None of us has. We aren’t supposed to feel. We’re British.”
“I'm an oddity of one, my strangeness too complicated to explain or share.”
“We are all unkind from time to time. We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it's like chasing clouds.”
“And now I understand that truth casts a spell of its own, one I'm not sure of how to hold on to, though I'm desperate to try.”
“My misery is reaching epidemic proportions.”
“We're each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion trying to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there's an awful lot of gray to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
“I've heard it said that God is in the details. It's the same with the truth. Leave out the details, the crucial heart, and you can damn someone with the bare bones of it.”
“Every time we prepare food we interrupt a life cycle. We pull up a carrot or kill a crab- or maybe just stop the mold that's growing on a wedge of cheese. We make meals with those ingredients and in doing so we give life to something else. It's a basic equation and if we pretend it doesn't exist, we're likely to miss the other important lesson which is to give respect to both sides of the equation.”
“Well, I’ll tell ye, they ain’t no more heroes. The”
“valuable technical nutrients—cars, televisions, carpeting, computers, and refrigerators, for”
“ls the Conjugial Angel stone
That here he stands with heavy head
The backward-looking pillared dead
Inert, moss-covered, aIl alone?
The Holy Ghost trawls ln the Void,
With fleshly Sophy on His Hook
The Sons of God crowd round to look
At plumpy limbs to be enjoyed
The Greater Man casts out the line
With dangling Sophy as the lure
Who howls around the Heavens' colure
To clasp the Human Form Divine
Rose-petals fall from fallen hair
That in the clay is redolent
Of liquid oozings and the scent
Of the dark Pit, the Beastly lair
And is my Love become the beast
That was, and is not, and yet is,
Who stretches scarlet holes to kiss
And clasps with claws the fleshly feast
Sweet Rosamund, adult'rous Rose
May lie inside her urn and stink
Whlle Alfred's tears tum into ink
And drop into her quelque-chose
The Angel spreads his golden wings
And raises high his golden cock
And man and wife together lock
Into one corpse that moans and sings”
“Under a sky that hasn't been blue for weeks.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.