“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”
“Do you know what would happen to you if I had found you then? This—and a helluva lot more.”
“I shoulda taken ya into town, Missie. Gave ya a chance to see the outside world again, to visit an' chat. I missed yer need, Missie, an'-an' ya never complain-jest let me go on, makin' dumb mistakes right an' left. A sorry-looking bunch of cowpokes, a work-crazy husband an' a baby who can't say more than 'goo' ain't much fer company. Yet ya never, never say a thing 'bout it. I love you, too, Missie-so very much.”
“A humming sound alerted him to a message on his cell phone. He looked at it.
'She said yes'.
Yes! Yes! Yes!”
“The dream state just before wakening when it seems perfectly logical for the goldfish not to like peeling its own potatoes on the bus.”
“nature’s noblest gift – my grey goose-quill! Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will, Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen, That mighty instrument of little men! – Lord Byron”
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