“It was only a phrase that went from mouth to mouth and was never quite swallowed.”
“And everything would be different, different.”
“To tell the truth, this was one of the few cases in which she had not told him just what she was thinking. Usually, she let him know whatever thoughts happened to come to her, and indeed he never took it amiss if she let slip a word that might pain him, because when all was said and done that was the price one paid for sincerity.”
“His suspicion that he was not going in the right direction tortmented him more and more. At last he had the conviction that he would never go anywhere but in the wrong direction, to the very end of the handful of days that was left to him, unhappy moonstruck pilgrim, whose April was to be cut off short.”
“An Albanian’s house is the dwelling of God and the guest.’ Of God and the guest, you see. So before it is the house of its master, it is the house of one’s guest. The guest, in an Albanian’s life, represents the supreme ethical category, more important than blood relations. One may pardon the man who spills the blood of one’s father or of one’s son, but never the blood of a guest.”
“Having left, for various reasons, the homeland of epic, they were uprooted like trees overthrown, they had lost their heroic character and deep-seated virtue.”
“A mountaineer’s house, before being his home and the home of his family, is the home of God and of guests.”
“Two or three times it occurred to Gjorg that all these men had killed, and that each had his story. But those stories were locked deep within them. It was not just chance that in the glow of the fire their mouths, and even more their jaws, looked as if they had the shape of certain antique locks.”
“Why the Albanians had created the institution of the guest, exalting it above all other human relations, even those of kinship. “Perhaps the answer lies in the democratic character of this institution,” he said, setting himself to think his way through the matter. “Any ordinary man, on any day, can be raised to the lofty station of a guest. The path to that temporary deification is open to anybody at any time.[...] Given that anyone at all can grasp the sceptre of the guest,” he went on, “and since that sceptre, for every Albanian, surpasses even the king’s sceptre, may we not assume that in the Albanian’s life of danger and want, that to be a guest if only for four hours or twenty-four hours, is a kind of respite, a moment of oblivion, a truce, a reprieve, and—why not?—an escape from everyday life into some divine reality?”
“Gabriel came out a moment later, while Kaitlyn was still standing motionless by the stairs. He was shrugging into his T-shirt. He looked particularly handsome in a just-roused, early morning way. His hair was very wavy, as if someone had run fingers through it to release the curl, his eyes were hooded and lazy and there was a faint smile of satisfaction on his lips.
Kaitlyn discovered that she wanted to kill him. The image that came to her mind was of hitting him with a rolling pin, but not in an amusing, comic-book sort of way.”
“Let’s just say that being able to contact ghosts makes for some very interesting ménages á trios… and ménages á quartre, and ménages á … whatever five is in French. ~Jaime Vegas”
“Your place is with me now, Addie. I want you here. Move whatever you like. Wear whatever you like. All I care about is having you by my side.”
“Never be afraid to tell me anything,” he whispered against her hair. “No matter how ashamed you might feel. I’ll never judge you, Rachel. I love you.”
“I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath.”
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