30+ quotes from The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Quotes from The Paris Wife

Paula McLain ·  314 pages

Rating: (220.2K votes)


“Books could be an incredible adventure. I stayed under my blanket and barely moved, and no one would have guessed how my mind raced and my heart soared with stories.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“It gave me a sharp kind of sadness to think that no matter how much I loved him and tried to put him back together again, he might stay broken forever.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Sometimes I wish we could rub out all of our mistakes and start fresh, from the beginning,' I said. 'And sometimes I think there isn't anything to us but our mistakes.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“People belong to each other only as long as they both believe. He stopped believing.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Why is it every other person you meet says they're an artist? A real artist doesn't need to gas on about it, he doesn't have time. He does his work and sweats it out in silence, and no one can help him at all.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“You are everything good and straight and fine and true—and I see that so clearly now, in the way you’ve carried yourself and listened to your own heart. You’ve changed me more than you know, and will always be a part of everything I am. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this. No one you love is ever truly lost.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“He was such an enigma, really - fierce and strong and weak and cruel. An incomparable friend and a son of a bitch. In the end, there wasn't one thing about him that was truer than the rest. It was all true.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“I miss good old-fashioned honorable people just trying to make something of life. Simply, without hurting anyone else. I know that makes me a sap.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Not everyone out in a storm wants to be saved”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“To marry was to say you believed in the future and in the past, too-that history and tradition and hope could stay knit together to hold you up.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“More and more I find myself at a loss for words and didn't want to hear other people talking either. Their conversations seemed false and empty. I preferred to look at the sea, which said nothing and never made you feel alone.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“But in the end, fighting for a love that was already gone felt like trying to live in the ruins of a lost city.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“I'd never met anyone so vibrant or alive. He moved like light.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“But love is love. It makes you do terribly stupid things.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“I hope we'll get lucky enough to grow old together.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Ernest once told me that the word paradise was a Persian words that meant walled garden. I knew then that he understood how necessary the promises we made to each other were to our happiness. You couldn't have real freedom unless you knew were the walls were and tended to them. We could lean on the walls because they existed; they existed because we leaned on them.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“If I can write one sentence, simple and true every day, I'll be satisfied.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“She was also incredibly confident, with a way of moving and talking that communicated that she didn't need anyone to tell her she was beautiful or worthwhile.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“I preferred to look at the sea, which said nothing and never made you feel alone.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“How unbelievably naive we both were that night. We clung hard to each other, making vows we couldn't keep and should never have spoken aloud. That's how love is sometimes. I already loved him more than I'd ever loved anything or anyone. I knew he needed me absolutely, and I wanted him to go on needing me forever.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Happiness is so awfully complicated, but freedom isn't. You're either tied down or you're not.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Knowing he was suffering pained me. That’s the way love tangles you up. I couldn’t stop loving him, and couldn’t shut off the feelings of wanting to care for him— but I also didn’t have to run to answer his letters. I was hurting, too, and no one was running to me.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“I knew that I could hate him all I wanted for the way he was hurting me, but I couldn’t ever stop loving him, absolutely, for what he was.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“It was our favorite part of the day, this in-between time, and it always seemed to last longer than it should--a magic and lavender space unpinned from the hours around it, between worlds.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“This was my one brush with love. Was it love? It felt awful enough. I spent another two years crawling around in the skin of it, smoking too much and growing too thin and having stray thoughts of jumping from my balcony like a tortured heroine in a Russian novel.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“There are things I didn't see before, like how nice it is to have someone around. Not the white knight whisking you away, but the fellow who sits at your table every night and tells you what he is thinking.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“He and I had already had our time, and though it was still very close and real to me, as beautiful and poignant as any place on a map, it was, in truth, another time—another country.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“There was only today to throw yourself into without thinking about tomorrow, let alone forever. To keep you from thinking, there was liquor, an ocean's worth at least, all the usual vices and plenty of rope to hang yourself with.

Love is a beautiful liar.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“We knew what we had and what it meant, and though so much had happened since for both of us, there was nothing like those years in Paris, after the war. Life was painfully pure and simple and good, and I believed Ernest was his best self then. I got the very best of him. We got the best of each other.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


“Maybe happiness was an hourglass already running out, the grains tipping, sifting past each other. Maybe it was a state of mind.”
― Paula McLain, quote from The Paris Wife


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About the author

Paula McLain
Born place: in Fresno, California, The United States
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