“Loss is like a shrapnel wound, I said, where the piece of metal's got stuck in a place where the surgeons daren't go, so they decide to leave it. It is painful at first, horribly painful, so that you wonder you can live with it. But then the body grows around it, until it doesn't hurt anymore. Not like it used to be. But every now and again there are these twinges when you are not ready for them, and you realize it is still there, and it's always going to be there. It is a part of you. A still, hard point inside.”
“They crossed the Mondego and Dao rivers to Viseu and headed south to Coimbra and Leiria.”
“The chinese character for "strife" is represented by two women under the same roof.”
“The portuguese never put anything behind them except a chair to eat lunch.”
“Eva was a between-the-lines talker. She left the sayable unsaid and said what she meant without saying it.”
“Boldly fruity, but clean and dry. The spice holding from the top to the bottom, as long as an Atlantic cruise.”
“I need you,” he says, his voice so quiet I have to lean forward to hear. “That’s my secret. I need you more than you have ever needed me.”
“What did I want to say? I had been struggling to find the words that would sum up how I felt, but the right ones would not come. I wanted to say I loved her. That there would be a hole in my heart forever where she had once been. That she had scared the hell out of me, irritated me beyond belief, and I didn’t know how I could possibly face the weight of the magic that was now mine without her support, her strength, her churlishness. I felt my hand shaking, so I raised my glass. “To Mother,” I said.”
“When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse”
“The simplest things are the hardest to understand.”
“We are wolves, which are wild dogs, and this is our place in the city. We are small and our house is small on our small urban street. We can see the city and the train line and it's beautiful in its own dangerous way. Dangerous because it's shared and taken and fought for.
That's the best way I can put it, and thinking about it, when I walk past the tiny houses on our street, I wonder about the stories inside them. I wonder hard, because houses must have walls and rooftops for a reason. My only query is the windows. Why do they have windows? Is it to let a glimpse of the world in? Or for us to see out?”
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