Quotes from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island

Regina Calcaterra ·  320 pages

Rating: (12.1K votes)


“I’m thirteen—and a half.” He looks at me suspiciously. “Weren’t you eleven last”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle.”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“People look but don’t see, why? People hear but don’t listen, why? People touch, but don’t feel, why?”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“No accomplishment has taken place without trial, and no growth could have occurred without unwavering love. This is the story of how it took a community to raise a child . . . and how that child used her future to give hope back.”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“There’s no way a person could be born into dysfunction, fighting to survive and helping her family do the same, without some purpose to give it all meaning.”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island



“She steps back—she’s contemplating whether I will accept her explanation. But I know it will never be possible for her to acknowledge what she did, the same as it will never be possible for me to fully forget it:”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“After I put on my coat, I turn and whisper to Camille: “Just a minute.” In the living room, I leave a wide space between myself and the recliner where Cookie’s sitting, knowing that distance from her is the only thing that has kept me both physically and emotionally safe. Wearing a blue flannel shirt, black stretch pants, and a scowl, she slowly meets my eyes. The TV’s reflection flashes off the lenses of her huge, shaded eyeglasses. “Good-bye,” I tell her. It comes out cold and flat. When she responds with silence, I nod. This is all I’ll get. Cherie opens the front door, and Camille and I exit with her. When the three of us get to the train station, we all break down in tears. It’s a cry of anger for our mother’s failure to take responsibility, for the unfairness of having had no say in choosing who brought us into this world . . . and for our relief knowing that soon she’ll be gone, for good.”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


“I remember a verse I once spotted that Julia had highlighted in her Bible: The truth will set you free. I’ve never been able to forget those words. Even when it hurts, it’s more empowering to know the truth than to stay blind to it.”
― Regina Calcaterra, quote from Etched in Sand: A True Story of Five Siblings Who Survived an Unspeakable Childhood on Long Island


About the author

Regina Calcaterra
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