Quotes from Inside the O'Briens

Lisa Genova ·  343 pages

Rating: (34.3K votes)


“As they lurch down the hallway and finally make it to the kitchen, it occurs to Joe that this is the best anyone can hope for in life. Someone you love to stagger through the hard times with.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Reality depends on perspective, on what is paid attention to.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“You are either Now Here or Nowhere.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all.” —Emily Dickinson”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens



“Lotus flowers blossom while rooted in mud, a reminder that beauty and grace can rise above something ugly.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“I know what you’re going through is terrifying and unfair and really hard. But you have to go through it. Right now, you’re just standing still. You’re sinking in it. Let me hold your hand and go through it with you.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“They walk together, listing and pitching, bumping off the hallway walls and each other’s hips. A drunk wife and a husband with HD. They make a fine pair. As they lurch down the hallway and finally make it to the kitchen, it occurs to Joe that this is the best anyone can hope for in life. Someone you love to stagger through the hard times with.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“For a split second every morning, she forgets. And then the black heaviness is there, and she wonders what it is, and then she remembers.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“You can be in Downward Dog, hating every second of it. Or you can be in this pose, peaceful and nonreactive, breathing calmly. Either way, you’re in this pose. You decide the quality of your experience. Be the thermostat, not the temperature.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens



“And, like a lightning strike, there is his example. His mother before him. The lesson that she passed down for him to pass on to his children - the courage to face every breath with love and gratitude.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“You've had the power all along, girl. Go live your dreams.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“the thought is only terrifying if she chooses to be terrified. The quality of her experience depends entirely on the thoughts she chooses. Reality depends on what is paid attention to.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Every breath is a risk. Love is why we breathe”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“The room does feel strange, oppressive even, with the TV off. In fact, Katie can’t remember ever being in this room without it on. It’s as if they’re missing their fifth sibling, the one who never shuts up and demands all the attention.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens



“Concern is a thin hair on the head of pity.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“The ability to attach guilt firmly by the hand to any positive emotion is a skill cultivated by the Irish,”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“This time of year is brutal. Joe knows exactly what Donny’s referring to. It’s January, just after the holiday season, a time for family and gift giving and celebration for most, a time of unbearable depression for others. The days are cold and dark by four thirty. Joe and Donny have responded to a lot of suicides over the years, and winter is sadly the most popular season. Joe won’t miss that part of his job. Discovering the bodies. Sometimes the body parts. A teenager overdoses on heroin. A mother swallows a bottle of prescription pills. A father leaps off the Tobin. A cop eats his gun.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Fenway seats just over thirty-seven thousand, about the same number of people as have Huntington’s in the United States. Thirty-seven thousand. It’s a faceless number,”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“I have a son,' says JJ, marveling at the sound and truth of the words...

'You know, I love you and Mom... But I don't even know this baby and the love- ' JJ clears his throat and wipes his suddenly wet eyes with the back of his hand. 'It's bigger. I'd lie down in traffic for him right now. I didn't know it could get bigger.'

Joe nods. 'This is only the beginning.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens



“This is what he is here to do. He will teach his kids how to live and die with HD. This is the right thing to do, the real humane decision.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Every breath is a risk. Love is why we breathe.” –Katie O’Brien She”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“This is the best anyone can hope for in life. Someone you love to stagger through the hard times with.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“And, like a lightning strike, there is his example. His mother before him. The lesson that she passed down for him to pass on to his children—the courage to face every breath with love and gratitude. “Okay,”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


“Every day, police officers see the hairy, smelly underbelly of humanity, the most depraved and evil shit human beings are capable of, shit civilians thankfully can’t imagine.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens



“She was brought up strict Irish Catholic... Protestants were evil, monstrous people and somehow probably contagious, and Katie grew up fearing them, praying to God she'd never see one.”
― Lisa Genova, quote from Inside the O'Briens


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About the author

Lisa Genova
Born place: in The United States
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