“As she drove the Trace, each curve revealing a scene rich with life and as picturesque as illustrations from a children's book, Anna was struck again by the beauty of the state. Over her years as a Yankee and a Westerner, she'd heard Mississippi described many ways. Beautiful had never been one of them.”
“When she finally found her way onto the Trace, the sun was rising and, with it, her spirits.
The Natchez Trace Parkway, a two lane road slated, when finished to run from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi, had been the brainchild of the Ladies' Garden Clubs in the South. Besides preserving a unique part of the nations past,...the Trace would not be based on spectacular scenery but would conserve the natural and agricultural history of Mississippi.”
“Whoever had come up with the chant “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” had been an idiot.”
“Anna took her solace where she always did. The smell of the earth, the touch of the sky held for her a special alchemy, able to turn loneliness into aloneness, and so make it, if not sacred, at least bearable.”
“Words could hurt worse than any stone, and the bruises lasted longer. Harboring”
“To be human was to be melodramatic, to feel things acutely, love and hate and lust, to search for the Holy Grail, outrun the other kids in the fifty-yard dash and care mightily about it.”
“Thigpen gave her that cringing, sly feeling incompetents in denial always engendered. In government service, she’d felt it enough times to trust her instincts. Randy”
“In the beginning the organizer's first job is to create the issues or problems.”
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”
“Pour moi, qui n'ai que de l'amour et de la constance à offrir les femmes méprisent ma misère et font leur jouet de ma simplicité. J'ajoutai”
“Dan Lynch was chuckling, his hand around his small glass. 'I remember Billy saying that AA was a Protestant thing when you came right down to it. Started by a bunch of Protestants. He said he didn't like the chummy way some of them were always calling Our Lord by his first name. I drove him to the first meeting and waited to take him home, 'cause Maeve didn't want him driving, and when he came out he said you could tell who the Catholics were because they'd all been bowing their heads every ten seconds while the Protestants bantered on about Jesus, Jesus Jesus.'
(And sure enough, up and down our stretch of table, heads bobbed at the name.)”
“Why in the world would someone say, 'I can't afford it' or 'I can't do it' to something they want? Why would someone deny themselves the things they want? It makes no logical sense.”
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