Rachel Joyce · 320 pages
Rating: (122.7K votes)
“People were buying milk, or filling their cars with petrol, or even posting letters. And what no one else knew was the appalling weight of the thing they were carrying inside. The superhuman effort it took sometimes to be normal, and a part of things that appeared both easy and everyday. The loneliness of that.”
“I miss her all the time. I know in my head that she has gone. The only difference is that I am getting used to the pain. It's like discovering a great hole in the ground. To begin with, you forget it's there and keep falling in. After a while, it's still there, but you learn to walk round it.”
“The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time.”
“Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”
“If we don't go mad once in a while, there's no hope.”
“You got up, and you did something. And if trying to find a way when you don't even know you can get there isn't a small miracle; then I don't know what is.”
“But maybe it's what the world needs. A little less sense, and a little more faith.”
“Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways.”
“It was not a life, if lived without love.”
“He must have driven this way countless times, and yet he had no memory of the scenery. He must have been so caught up in the day's agenda, and arriving punctually at their destination, that the land beyond the car had been no more than a wash of one green, and a backdrop of one hill. Life was very different when you walked through it.”
“If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I'm going to get there. I've begun to think we sit far more than we're supposed to." He smiled. "Why else would we have feet?”
“He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that too. The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing it for a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human.”
“Beginnings could happen more than once or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before. He had faced his shortcomings and overcome them and so the real business of walking was happening only now.”
“There is so much to the human mind we don't understand. But, you see, if you have faith, you can do anything.”
“If we can't accept what we don't know, there really is no hope.”
“I've begun to think that we sit far more than we're supposed to...Why else would we have feet?”
“you could be ordinary and attempt something extraordinary, without being able to explain it in a logical way.”
“He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was also his journey to accept the strangeness of others.”
“The past was the past; there was no escaping your beginnings.”
“...People would make the decisions they wished to make and some of them would hurt both themselves and those who loved them, and some would pass unnoticed, while others would bring joy.”
“The least planned part of the journey, however, was the journey itself.”
“But it never ceases to amaze me how difficult the things that are supposed to be instinctive really are.”
“He wished the man would honor the true meaning of words, instead of using them as ammunition.”
“He understood that in walking to atone for the mistakes he had made, it was his journey to accept the strangeness of others. As a passerby, he was in a place where everything, not only the land, was open. People would feel free to talk, and he was free to listen. To carry a little of them as he went.”
“The people he met, the places he passed, were all steps in his journey, and he kept a place inside his heart for each of them.”
“He had felt safe with what he had confided. It had been the same with Queenie. You could say things in the car and know she had tucked them somewhere safe among her thoughts, and that she would not judge him for them, or hold it against him in years to come. He supposed that was what friendship was, and regretted all the years he had spent without it.”
“Life was very different when you walked through it.”
“There was no escaping what he had realized as he fought for warmth in the night. With or without him,the moon and the wind would go on, rising and falling. The land would keep stretching ahead until it hit the sea. People would keep dying. It made no difference if Harold walked, or trembled, or stayed at home.”
“If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I'm going to get there.”
“You have to believe. That's what I think. It's not about medicine and all that stuff. You have to believe a person can get better. There is so much in the human mind we don't understand. But, you see, if you have faith, you can do anything.”
“here she is, all mine, trying her best to give me all she can. How could I ever hurt her? But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.”
“You could be David's friend too". She glanced at Tamani when he said nothing. He was frowning. "The two of you really have a lot in common, and we're all in this together".
He shook his head. "It wouldn't work".
"Why not? He's a nice guy. And it would do you good to have some human friends", she said hinting at what she suspected was the root of the problem.
"It's not that", Tamani said, gesturing vaguely with one hand.
"Then why?" Laurel asked, exasperated.
"I just don't want to cosy up to the guy whose girl I have every intention of stealing”
“Instead, I ask you with all my heart, come back to Matt's fort with us now! It's not because I like you - don't think that, whatever you do! But, my daughter does - I know that now - and perhaps I can learn too.”
“Earnest young knights are my favorite. I love the looks on their faces when they realize that they're being slow-cooked in their own armor.”
“Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.”
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