Maud Hart Lovelace · 240 pages
Rating: (6.1K votes)
“She thought of the library, so shining white and new; the rows and rows of unread books; the bliss of unhurried sojourns there and of going out to a restaurant, alone, to eat.”
“Betsy returned to her chair, took off her coat and hat, opened her book and forgot the world again.”
“She tried to act as though it were nothing to go to the library alone. But her happiness betrayed her. Her smile could not be restrained, and it spread from her tightly pressed mouth, to her round cheeks, almost to the hair ribbons tied in perky bows over her ears.”
“The wastes of snow on the hill were ghostly in the moonlight. The stars were piercingly bright.”
“Betsy was so full of joy that she had to be alone. She went upstairs to her bedroom and sat down on Uncle Keith's trunk. Behind Tacy's house the sun had set. A wind had sprung up and the trees, their color dimmed, moved under a brooding sky. All the stories she had told Tacy and Tib seemed to be dancing in those trees, along with all the stories she planned to write some day and all the stories she would read at the library. Good stories. Great stories. The classics. Not Rena's novels.”
“Betsy liked to talk. Her father always said she got it from her mother, and her mother always said she got it from her father. But whomever she got it from she was certainly a talker.”
“Well, Betsy," he said, "your mother tells me that you are going to use Uncle Keith's trunk for a desk. That's fine. You need a desk. I've often noticed how much you like to write. The way you eat up those advertising tablets from the store! I never saw anything like it. I can't understand it though. I never write anything but checks myself. "
"Bob!" said Mrs. Ray. "You wrote the most wonderful letters to me before we were married. I still have them, a big bundle of them. Every time I clean house I read them over and cry."
"Cry, eh?" said Mr. Ray, grinning. "In spite of what your mother says, Betsy, if you have any talent for writing, it comes from family. Her brother Keith was mighty talented, and maybe you are too. Maybe you're going to be a writer."
Betsy was silent, agreeably abashed.
"But if you're going to be a writer," he went on, "you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.”
“It looks like something out of Whittier's "Snowbound,"' Julia said. Julia could always think of things like that to say.”
“Betsy liked to read her stories aloud and she read them like an actress. She made her voice low and thrillingly deep. She made it shake with emotion. She laughed mockingly and sobbed wildly when the occasion required.”
“Julia was as happy as Betsy was, almost. One nice thing about Julia was that she rejoiced in other people's luck.”
“Come in early, so there'll be time to pop corn,' Mrs. Ray said. If she mentioned popping corn, they always came in early. So she usually mentioned it.”
“Betsy did not answer. She was a talker, her family always said, but sometimes when she most wanted to talk she couldn't say a word.”
“This going around with boys makes me sick," said Tacy.
"I like Herbert Humphreys," said Tib.
It was just like Tib to like a boy and say so.
"Oh, if you have to have a boy around, it might as well be Herbert," said Betsy, who liked him too.
"He wears cute clothes," said Tacy, blushing.
Herbert Humphreys, who had come to Deep Valley from St. Paul, wore knickerbockers. The other boys in their grade wore plain short pants.”
“Thoughts are such fleet magic things. Betsy's thoughts swept a wide arc while Uncle Keith read her poem aloud. She thought of Julia learning to sing with Mrs. Poppy. She thought of Tib learning to dance. She thought of herself and Tacy and Tib going into their 'teens. She even thought of Tom and Herbert and of how, by and by, they would be carrying her books and Tacy's and Tib's up the hill from high school.”
“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”
“One of the supreme paradoxes of baseball, and all sports, is that the harder you try to throw a pitch or hit a ball or accomplish something, the smaller your chances are for success. You get the best results not when you apply superhuman effort but when you let the game flow organically and allow yourself to be fully present. You'll often hear scouts say of a great prospect, "The game comes slow to him." It mean the prospect is skilled and poised enough to let the game unfold in its own time, paying no attention to the angst or urgency or doubt, funnelling all awareness to the athletic task at hand.”
“I have always been suspicious of the phrase, the glow of pregnancy, and my suspicions were only confirmed by Lillian's appearance. Instead of a glow, her whole body seemed to become more and more dull, sallow and sickly sweet and vague, like a candle burning out or a line of smudged writing.”
“She wanted to take his hand. Her hardest task now as she grew older in the Ministry was to deal with her longing to be touched - hugged, stroked by anyone, any human being - a friend, a lover, a child or even (and here she scented danger) a servant. Of either sex. She prayed about it, asking that God's encircling arms would bring comfort. They did not”
“She’s frightened of me. Mother would be so proud. He turned away, skewering a fish on one of his claws. I guess I did threaten to slice off her face.”
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