“If summer had a flavor, it was pink bubble gum.”
“Great love endures time, heartache, and distance. And even when all seems lost, true love lives on.”
“It's like I'm trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, and everyone is hiding the pieces from me.”
“I was making scrambled eggs smothered in Tabasco, his favorite, when he told me about Stephanie. The way she made him laugh. The way she understood him. The way they connected. I pictured the image of two Lego pieces fusing together, and I shuddered. It’s funny; when I think back to that morning, I can actually smell burned eggs and Tabasco. Had I known that this is what the end of my marriage would smell like, I would have made pancakes.”
“Life is too short to worry about the consequences when you love someone as I love you.”
“Hayat, birine seni seviyorum demenin kararsızlığını yaşamak için çok kısa.”
“They're wood violets," she said. "I haven't seen them on the island since...."
"They're very rare," Henry said, filling the void that Bee had left when her voice trailed off. "You can't plant them, for they won't grow. They have to choose you."
Bee's eyes met Henry's, and she smiled, a gentle, forgiving smile. It warmed me to see it. "Evelyn has a theory about these flowers," she said, pausing as if to pull a dusty memory off a shelf in her mind, handling it with great care. "Yes," she said, the memory in plain view. "She used to say they grow where they are needed, that they signal healing, and hope.”
“I could smell garlic, butter, and wine - the world's most delicious flavor combination. It made me feel warm, like the first few sips of wine always do.”
“The city loves you when you're flying high and kicks you when you're down.”
“I never intended on kissing Elliot. Married women don’t behave like that, at least not married women like me. It wasn’t proper. But the tide was high, and there was a cold breeze blowing, and Elliot’s arms were draped around my body like a warm shawl, caressing me in places where he shouldn’t have been, and I could scarcely think of much else. It was like how we used to be.”
“The Puget Sound is like a time machine, hiding things and then spewing them back onto its shores at the time and place of its choosing.”
“But it wasn't their separation that was consuming my mind just then; it was Evelyn's garden. Bee had taken us there when we were children, and it was all rushing back: a magical world of hydrangeas, roses, and dahlias, and lemon shortbread cookies on Evelyn's patio. It seemed like only yesterday that my sister and I sat on the little bench under the trellis while Bee hovered over her easel, capturing on her canvas whatever flower was in bloom in the lush beds. "Your garden," I said, "I remember your garden."
"Yes," Evelyn said, smiling.
I nodded, a little astonished that this memory, buried so deep in my mind, had risen to the surface just then like a lost file from my subconscious. It was as if the island had unlocked it somehow.”
“There is something oddly therapeutic about trudging through marshy sand, the feeling of squishiness below the feet signaling to the brain that it's OK to just let go for a while.”
“Bainbridge Island could never hide its glory, even under the cover of darkness. I watched from the window as the ferry loomed into Eagle Harbor, passing the island's pebble-covered shores and shake-shingled homes that clung courageously to the hillside. Glowing orange interiors beckoned, as if the people inside were making one extra place as they gathered around fireplaces to sip wine or hot cocoa.”
“Just before six, Bee pulled three wineglasses out of the cabinet and uncorked the bottle of white that Greg had selected for us.
"Light the candles, dear, will you please?"
I reached for the matches and thought about the dinners at Bee's house during my childhood. Bee never served a meal without candles. "A proper supper requires candlelight," she'd told my sister and me years ago. I though it was elegant and exciting, and when I asked my mom if we could start the same tradition at home, she said no. "Candles are for birthday parties," she said, "and those only come once a year.”
“...anyone who willingly has more than two children is clinically insane.”
“Perhaps I am broken, he conceded silently, but broken bones heal stronger, and I will have my day in the sun.”
“The Melding Plague attacked our society at the core. It was not quite a biological virus, not quite a software virus, but a strange and shifting chimera of the two. No pure strain of the plague has ever been isolated, but in its pure form it must resemble a kind of nano-machinery, analogous to the molecular-scale assemblers of our own medichine technology. That it must be of alien origin seems beyond doubt. Equally clear is the fact that nothing we have thrown against the plague has done more than slow it. More often than not, our interventions have only made things worse. The plague adapts to our attacks; it perverts our weapons and turns them against us. Some kind of buried intelligence seems to guide it. We don’t know whether the plague was directed toward humanity—or whether we have just been terribly unlucky.”
“That is the true mingling of kinship when a man can tell someone all his thoughts; anything is better than to be fickle; he is no true friend who only says pleasant things.”
“Those who are conquered," wrote the philosopher Ibn Khaldun in the fourteenth century, "always want to imitate the conqueror in his main characteristics—in his clothing, his crafts, and in all his distinctive traits and customs.”
“... and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.”
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