Quotes from The Probable Future

Alice Hoffman ·  352 pages

Rating: (12.2K votes)


“Love was like that, like a dream you didn't quite understand, one in which you didn't necessarily know what you were looking at until it was right in front of you.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“When people related by blood were so careful with each other, when they were so very polite, there was soon nothing left to say. Only niceties that meant so little they might as well have been spoken to a complete stranger. Pass the butter, open the door, see you after school, there's rain again, it's sunny, it's cold. Has the dog eaten? Has the window been shut? Where are you going? Why is it I don't know you at all?

Such statements did not add up to anything like a family...”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Interesting, but she could see that the boy didn't have a single lie in him. A very rare condition, especially for the male of the species.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Love ambushed you, it lay in wait, dormant for days or years. It was the red thread, the peach stone, the kiss, the forgiveness. It came after you, it escaped you, it was invisible, it was everything.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“what was a rose but the living proof of desire, the single best evidence of human longing and earthly devotion. but desire could be twisted,after all, and Jealousy was the name of the rose that did well in arid souls.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future



“When Juliet came flying down the hallway, Stella didn't recognize her friend. Juliet hadn't bothered with makeup; she was wearing a nightgown underneath her raincoat and had on plastic flip-flops. This was the way loved walked in, barely dressed, confused, panic-stricken, overcome, not caring what anyone thought or what they believed.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“You wanted a blue rose," Brock said. "Didn't you? Wasn't that the whole point?"
"Doesn't everyone want what they cannot have?"(Elinor)
"Here's what I think: it's the quest that matters."(Brock)”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“But chains made out of blood and memory were a thousand times more difficult to sever than those made of steel, and the past could overtake a person if she wasn’t careful”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“This was the way love walked in, barely dressed, confused, panic-stricken, overcome, not caring what anyone thought or what they believed.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Love was never a mistake, even when it wasn't returned.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future



“The day had begun, cool and clear and absolutely impossible to avoid”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Winter in New England is merciless and cruel, a season that instills a particular melancholy in its residents and a hopelessness that is all but impossible to shake.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


We know what we need when we get it, Brock Stewart had once said. Elinor understood this to be true whenever she heard Jenny in the hallway, when she looked up from her work in the garden to see a light burning in the kitchen. She knew it when the kettle on the back burner of the stove whistled, when the back door opened and shut, when the house she lived in wasn't empty. She hadn't understood how alone she'd been until she was no longer alone. She had cut herself off...”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“A breeze had come up and there was the scent of loam in the air. Hay and fertilizer. Sweet grass and wild ginger. April.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Women pitied her, but went on their way; they had their own troubles to attend to, and mercy was a scarce commodity.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future



“They believed that remembering someone could bring them back to you long after they had departed, if you only concentrated hard enough, if you stood outside on a windy night and tried to count every star sprinkled across the universe like rice on a table or stones in a lake, like bones in a body or snowdrops in the grass.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“How's our blue rose?" the doctor asked.
...
"If you really want to know, I feel sorry for the poor thing," Elinor went on. "All wrapped up that way. I'm starting to think there's no point in being a rose if you're tied up and covered with burlap.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Love could do that to some people and they wouldn't even know much they'd missed out on; they simply remained in the place where love had left them, while the whole world spun around.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“What was a siren but a call to your neighbors, a cry that would let them know that grief of one sort or another was coming through, as it did for someone every day, every evening.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“But chains made out of blood and memory were a thousand times more difficult to sever than those made of steel, and the past could overtake a person if she wasn’t careful"

"The day had begun, cool and clear and absolutely impossible to avoid"

"Being a physician is like working on a machine that keeps breaking down, time after time"

"Honesty was like a stone, dropped and irretrievable once it was spoken aloud"

"Love was like that, like a dream you didn’t quite understand, one in which you didn’t necessarily know what you were looking at until it was right in front of you"

"adolescence is what makes the person”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future



“Being a physician is like working on a machine that keeps breaking down, time after time”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Honesty was like a stone, dropped and irretrievable once it was spoken aloud”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Love was like that, like a dream you didn’t quite understand, one in which you didn’t necessarily know what you were looking at until it was right in front of you”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“In the dining hall of the home, Stella had seen so much death, that one Saturday morning she’d been compelled to sink down onto the linoleum floor, overwhelmed not so much by the sorrow of it all, but by the human dignity, the almost supernatural ability to face the abyss and still order scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“I used to think there was a plan, a rough plan, but a plan all the same,” the doctor admitted. “Now, I believe there are a thousand plans. Every breath, every decision, influences the plan, expands it, shortens it, twists it all around. It’s always changing. Those of us lucky enough to make it through the multitude of possible diseases and accidents get old. We get tired. We close our eyes.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future



“They had become more like people who'd been through a war together, comrades with little in common but the battle itself”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Elinor would have surely ignored them, such was her habit and her inclination, even though she knew whenever someone ignored what hurt her most, she'd wind up in grave circumstances. Ignore love, she now understood, and a person might bleed forever, even if no one could tell.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


“Every time a new house was built, a bucket of peach stones would be found, and even children on their way to school knew that finding one meant luck, whatever the outcome: love forgotten, love gone wrong, love despite all odds, love ever after, love after all this time.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from The Probable Future


About the author

Alice Hoffman
Born place: in New York, New York, The United States
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