• anne of the island, l. m. montgomery
    • "'i wonder if it will be – can be – any more beautiful than this,' murmured anne, looking around her with the loving, enraptured eyes of those to whom 'home' must always be the loveliest spot in the world, no matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars." (p. 5)
    • "'come, let's all sit down and get acquainted. it won't be hard. i know we're going to adore each other – i knew it as soon as i saw you at redmond this morning. i wanted so much to go right over and hug you both.'" (p. 29)
    • "'oh, but i've left out the transforming thing,' said anne softly. 'there'll be love there, phil – faithful, tender love, such as i'll never find anywhere else in the world – love that's waiting for me. that makes my picture a masterpiece, doesn't it, even if the colors are not very brilliant?'" (p. 51)
    • "the kitchen door opened and marilla's spare form darkened against the inner light. she preferred to meet anne in the shadows, for she was horribly afraid that she was going to cry with joy – she, stern, repressed marilla, who thought all display of deep emotion unseemly. mrs. lynde was behind her, sonsy, kindly, matronly, as of yore. the love that anne had told phil was waiting for her surrounded her and enfolded her with its blessing and its sweetness. nothing, after all, could compare with old ties, old friends, and old green gables!" (p. 52)
    • "'the east room was the one you were born in. i remember your ma saying she loved to see the sunrise; and i mind hearing that you was born just as the sun was rising and its light on your face was the first thing your ma saw.'" (p. 146)
    • "'this has been the most beautiful day of my life,' anne said to phil that night. 'i've found my father and mother. those letters have made them real to me. i'm not an orphan any longer. i feel as if i had opened a book and found roses of yesterday, sweet and beloved, between its leaves.'" (p. 148)
    • "marilla was thinking of her whole past life, her cramped but not unhappy childhood, the jealously hidden dreams and the blighted hopes of her girlhood, the long, gray, narrow, monotonous years of dull middle life that followed. and the coming of anne – the vivid, imaginative, impetuous child with her heart of love, and her world of fancy, bringing with her color and warmth and radiance, until the wilderness of existence had blossomed like the rose. marilla felt that out of her sixty years she had lived only the nine that had followed the advent of anne. and anne would be home tomorrow night." (p. 149-150)
    • "the kitchen door opened. marilla looked up expecting to see mrs. lynde. anne stood before her, tall and starry-eyed, with her hands full of mayflowers and violets. 'anne shirley!' exclaimed marilla. for once in her life she was surprised out of her reserve; she caught her girl in her arms and crushed her and her flowers against her heart, kissing the bright hair and sweet face warmly." (p. 150)
    • "'and mother – mother just took me up in her arms, and without one word of rebuke or harshness, kissed me and held me close to her heart. 'i was so frightened you were lost, darling,' she said tenderly. i could see the love shining in her eyes as she looked down on me.'" (p. 234)
    • "'i have a dream,' he said slowly. 'i persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. i dream of a home with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends – and you!'" (p. 242)
    • "'nothing mattered much to me for a time there, after you told me you could never love me, anne. there was nobody else – there never could be anybody else for me but you. i've loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.'" (p. 243)
    • "'i don't want sunbursts and marble halls. i just want you. you see i'm quite as shameless as phil about it. sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more 'scope for imagination' without them. and as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. we'll just be happy, waiting and working for each other – and dreaming. oh, dreams will be very sweet now.' gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her." (p. 244)
  • the year of magical thinking, joan didion
    • "i grew up in california, john and i lived there together for twenty-four years, in california we heated our houses by building fires. we built fires even on summer evenings, because the fog came in. fires said we were home, we had drawn the circle, we were safe through the night." (p. 10)
    • "i remember thinking that i needed to discuss this with john. there was nothing i did not discuss with john. because we were both writers and both worked at home our days were filled with the sound of each other's voices." (p. 16)
  • the price of salt, patricia highsmith
    • "'thank you very much,' therese said. and suddenly the woman's ugliness disappeared, because her reddish brown eyes behind the glasses were gentle, and interested in her. therese could feel her heart beating, as if it had come to life." (p. 5)
    • "she stood with the pen poised over the card, thinking of what she might have written - 'you are magnificent' or even 'i love you' - finally writing quickly the excruciatingly dull and impersonal: 'special salutations from frankenberg's.'" (p. 30-31)
    • "therese thought her beautiful, though her face was a blur now because she could not bear to look at it directly." (p. 35)
    • "should she tell her she usually worked on her stage models? sketched and painted sometimes, carved things like cats' heads and tiny figures to go in her ballet sets, but that she liked best to take long walks practically anywhere, liked best simply to dream? therese felt she did not have to tell her. she felt the woman's eyes could not look at anything without understanding completely." (p. 36)
    • "'i think you are magnificent,' therese said with the courage of the second drink, not caring how it might sound, because she knew the woman knew anyway. she laughed, putting her head back. it was a sound more beautiful than music." (p. 37)
    • "'i suppose it's educational. i learn how to be a thief, a liar, and a poet all at once.' therese leaned back in the straight chair so that her head would be in the warm square of sunlight. she wanted to say, and how to love. she had never loved anyone before carol, not even sister alicia." (p. 50)
    • "'do you like her?' 'of course!' what a question! like asking her if she believed in god." (p. 74)
    • "she thought, if abby pressed her against the wall at that moment and said: 'out with it. what do you want from carol? how much of her do you want to take from me?' she would have babbled it all. she would have said: 'i want to be with her. i love to be with her, and what has it got to do with you?'" (p. 100)
    • "she wanted abby to go so she could telephone carol. nothing mattered but the sound of carol's voice. nothing mattered but carol, and why did she let herself forget for a moment?" (p. 101)
    • "do you think, do you think, it began. do you think both of us will die violently someday, be suddenly shut off? but even that question wasn't definite enough. perhaps it was a statement after all: i don't want to die yet without knowing you. do you feel the same way, carol?" (p. 113)
    • "i feel i stand in a desert with my hands outstretched, and you are raining down upon me." (p. 130)
    • "'carol, i love you.' carol straightened up. therese stared at her with intense, sleepy eyes. then carol finished taking her pajamas from the suitcase and pulled the lid down. she came to therese and put her hands on her shoulders. she squeezed her shoulders hard, as if she were exacting a promise from her, or perhaps searching her to see if what she had said were real. then she kissed therese on the lips, as if they had kissed a thousand times before. 'don't you know i love you?' carol said." (p. 161)
    • "therese threw the newspapers on the bed and came to her. carol seized her suddenly in her arms. they stood holding each other as if they would never separate. therese shuddered, and there were tears in her eyes. it was hard to find words, locked in carol's arms, closer than kissing. 'why did you wait so long?' therese asked." (p. 164-165)
    • "'i love you,' therese said, just to hear the words. 'i love you, i love you.'" (p. 165)
    • "carol wanted her with her, and whatever happened they would meet it without running. how was it possible to be afraid and in love, therese thought. the two things did not go together. how was it possible to be afraid, when the two of them grew stronger together every day? and every night. every night was different, and every morning. together they possessed a miracle." (p. 180)
  • anne of windy poplars, l. m. montgomery
    • "it's dusk, dearest. in daylight i belong to the world... in the night to sleep and eternity. but in the dusk i'm free from both and belong only to myself... and you." (p. 3)
    • "she's the quaintest thing, gilbert...as sensitive as one of the leaves of the windy poplars, and i love her." (p. 36)
    • "at the door i stooped and kissed elizabeth's cheek before she went in. i shall never forget her eyes, gilbert, that child is just starved for love." (p. 60)
    • "'i'll kiss you every night when you come for the milk and then it won't matter if it is washed off the next morning.' 'you are the only person who loves me in the world,' said elizabeth. 'when you talk to me i smell violets.'" (p. 60)
    • "'you've made me happy... you are always making people happy. why, whenever you come into a room, miss shirley, the people in it feel happier.'" (p. 89)
    • "'you understand... oh, yes, i always knew you would. i've wanted to be friends with you, anne shirley. i like the way you laugh.'" (p. 109)
    • "'isn't this a lovely evening?' i said. 'where you are it's always a lovely evening, miss shirley,' said little elizabeth." (p. 123)
    • "but anne suddenly stooped and kissed the little sunburned face. there was something about it that tugged at her heart. he was so sweet...so gallant...so motherless!" (p. 132)
    • "'lad, come and live with me. you are my nephew and i can do well for you...what i'd have done for my little fellow if he'd lived. you're alone in the world and so am i. i need you. i'll grow hard and bitter again if i live here alone. i want you to help me keep my promise to the little fellow. his place is empty. come you and fill it...and bring that teacher of yours here once in a while. i like that girl. the little fellow liked her. 'dad,' he said to me, 'i didn't think i'd ever like anybody but you to kiss me, but i liked it when she did. there was something in her eyes, dad.''" (p. 139)
    • "'when you come home, anne,' said davy, 'everything seems to come alive.'" (p. 148)
    • "'anyhow, we're going to be friends... and we're going to have a jolly ten days here to begin our friendship. i've always wanted to be friends with you, katherine... spelled with a k! i've always felt that underneath all your prickles was something that would make you worth while as a friend.'" (p. 153)
    • "suppose, gilbert, we were walking hand in hand down one of the long roads in avonlea tonight! gilbert, i'm afraid i'm scandalously in love with you. you don't think it's irreverent, do you?" (p. 174)
    • "'i knew the moment i first saw you that you would understand everything. we are on the same plane. sometimes i think i must be psychic, miss shirley. i always know so instinctively the moment i meet any one whether i'm going to like them or not. i felt at once that you were sympathetic... that you would understand. it's so sweet to be understood. nobody understands me, miss shirley... nobody. but when i saw you, some inner voice whispered to me, 'she will understand...with her you can be your real self.' oh, miss shirley, let's be real... let's always be real. oh, miss shirley, do you love me the leastest, tiniest bit?' 'i think you're a dear,' said anne, laughing a little and ruffling hazel's golden curls with her slender fingers. it was quite easy to be fond of hazel." (p. 175)
    • "hazel fluffed out her hair and put on her hat, a hat with a rosy lining to its brim and rosy blossoms around it. she looked so distractingly pretty that anne kissed her impulsively. 'you're the prettiest thing, darling,' she said admiringly. hazel stood very still. then she lifted her eyes and stared clear through the ceiling of the tower room, clear through the attic above it, and sought the stars. 'i shall never, never forget this wonderful moment, miss shirley,' she said rapturously." (p. 181)
    • "they were good friends right away. the man didn't talk a great deal, but he looked at elizabeth very often. there was a tenderness in his face...a tenderness she had never seen before in anybody's face, not even miss shirley's. she felt that he liked her. and she knew that she liked him." (p. 250)
    • "miss shirley all tall and white, like a lily, looking as if she had been through some terrible experience but with some inner radiance shining behind it all... a radiance that seemed part of the golden sunset light which suddenly flooded the room. the man was smiling down at her. elizabeth felt that he loved her very much and that there was some secret, tender and dear, between them which she would learn." (p. 251)
    • "'father is very much here, my sweet.' he had such a delightful voice... you loved him for his voice. he bent and kissed her. 'i've come for you. we'll never be separated any more.'" (p. 252)
  • the thirteenth tale, diane setterfield
    • "'and so, how was it, sweetheart? being home on your own?' 'it was fine.' 'thought it would be,' he said. and then, unable to stop himself, he gave me another hug, a happy, two-armed affair, and kissed the top of my head." (p. 22)
  • the last house on needless street, catriona ward
    • "lauren screams and rides away, darting and swerving around the furniture. she sings loudly as she pedals, a song she made up about woodlice, and if i were not a parent i would never have believed that a song about woodlice could make me feel such joy. but that's what love does, it reaches right into you like a hand." (p. 14)
    • "all she wanted now was the sanctuary of her family. her mother would shudder, cry out and take dee in her arms. lulu would look scared and excited at the same time and ask over and over, how many snakes? what kind? and her father would be furious, ask what the hell the lifeguard had been doing, and dee would bask in the warmth of his anger, knowing she was cared for." (p. 47)
    • "lauren shivers and i feel her wonder. i love having her so close to me. i can't recall the last time she let me carry her like this without a fight." (p. 81)
    • "i wanted a friend to look after us. the weird thing is, now that i have one, all i want to do is to look after him." (p. 313)
  • ella enchanted, gail carson levine
    • "before mandy sent me off for the night, mother kissed me. 'good night. i love you, precious.' they were her last words to me." (p. 8)
    • "i wanted to make him laugh again... he did laugh. then he made an announcement. 'i like you. i'm quite taken with you.'" (p. 41)
    • "it was very cheering to have a friend." (p. 68)
    • "i wondered if i would meet char on his way to the fens. i liked thinking he might be near, but whether he was ahead of me or behind, or whether he had taken this route at all, i had no idea, and i wished my magic book had told me more." (p. 89)
    • "i wished she'd never stop squeezing me. i wished i could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me." (p. 130)
    • "you like me. you wouldn't waste time or paper on a being you didn't like. but i think i've loved you since we met at your mother's funeral. i want to be with you forever and beyond...you would charm him, and mother too. they would be yours completely. as i am... love (it is such relief to pen the word!), love, love – char." (p. 181-182)
    • "he loved me. he'd loved me as long as he'd known me! i hadn't loved him as long, perhaps, but now i loved him equally well, or better. i loved his laugh, his handwriting, his steady gaze, his honorableness, his freckles, his appreciation of my jokes, his hands, his determination that i should know the worst of him. and, most of all, shameful though it might be, i loved his love for me." (p. 183)
    • "he bent his head. i loved the hairs on the nape of his neck. he moved his lips. i admired their changing shape. he clasped a hand. i blessed his fingers." (p. 207)
    • "'lass,' char said to me. 'i won't hurt you, no matter what.' he cupped his hand under my chin and tilted my face up to his. i wanted to catch his hand and kiss it. as soon as we touched, i knew he recognized me." (p. 223)
    • "'ella, go to your room. his majesty can have no further need of you.' char said, 'i have great need of her.'" (p. 227)
  • the silvered serpents, roshani chokshi
    • "the door slammed open. enrique looked up, wondering what else the courier had to deliver, but it wasn't the courier at all but hypnos striding toward him. his pulse kicked up at the sight of the other boy, with his mouth made for grinning and frosted eyes the color of fairy pools. 'hello, mon cher,' he said, swooping to kiss his cheeks. warmth shivered through enrique. perhaps not all his daydreams were foolish after all. for once, he wanted to be sought after, picked first. wanted. and now here was hypnos." (p. 27)
    • "a few moments later, enrique joined laila in hypnos' carriage. laila smiled warmly, and he immediately curled against her. hypnos held his hand lightly and caressed his thumb against enrique's knuckles." (p. 27)
    • "laila almost reached out to hold zofia's hand before pausing. what looked like love to her did not always look like that to zofia." (p. 49)
    • "sighing, enrique angled his back just so, and laila, recognizing what he was doing, sighed and started to scratch between his shoulder blades. 'i miss back scratches,' said enrique sadly." (p. 49)
    • "when he left the room, unwanted ghosts of memories snuck up on her. memories he didn't know she had, like when they had been attacked by a forged creature inside house kore's underground library. when she regained consciousness, the first sound she remembered was séverin's voice at her ear: laila, this is your majnun. and you will drive me well and truly mad if you do not wake up this instant." (p. 50)
    • "zofia took the bandage from him and started wrapping her hand. it was such a small thing. to be fussed over. to be the one treated tenderly. when she'd last cut herself, she'd merely stood in the rain, her hand throbbing as she let the water rush over her palms until there was no trace of someone else's blood on her skin. tears started running down her cheeks." (p. 94)
    • "'i will not let you die,' said zofia. enrique gripped her hand, his touch full of warmth. 'we won't let anything happen to you.' you. no conditions. no change in how they referred to her. no change, even, in how they looked at her. laila held back, and it took a moment to realize that her whole body had seized up, ready to flinch. to flee. knowing, for the first time, that she didn't have to run made her stare at her hands, utterly lost. and then, as if he knew what ran through her thoughts, enrique reached out. that touch shocked through her, and a second later, laila threw her arms around zofia and enrique." (p. 95-96)
  • anne's house of dreams, l. m. montgomery
    • "'do you remember our first walk down this hill, anne – our first walk together anywhere, for that matter?' 'i was coming home in the twilight from matthew's grave – and you came out of the gate; and i swallowed the pride of years and spoke to you.' 'and all heaven opened before me,' supplemented gilbert. 'from that moment i looked forward to to-morrow.'" (p. 30)
    • "then, as she held out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. they belonged to each other; and no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. their happiness was in each other's keeping and both were unafraid." (p. 34)
    • "'anne, this is captain boyd. captain boyd, my wife.' it was the first time gilbert had said 'my wife' to anybody but anne, and he narrowly escaped bursting with the pride of it." (p. 40)
    • "again there was a silence, while captain jim kept a passing tryst with vistants anne and gilbert could not see - the folks who had sat with him around that fireplace in the vanished years, with mirth and bridal joy shining in eyes long since closed for ever, under churchyard sod or heaving leagues of sea. here on olden nights children had tossed laughter lightly to and fro. here on winter evenings friends had gathered. dance and music and jest had been here. here youths and maidens had dreamed. for captain jim the little house was tenanted with shapes entreating remembrance." (p. 50)
    • "'there was something so sweet and winsome about her that you had to love her, that was all.'" (p. 52)
    • "'but mistress selwyn says to me once, says she, laughing in that pretty way of hers, 'i felt dreadful when john and i quarrelled, but underneath it all i was very happy because i had such a nice husband to quarrel with and make it up with.''" (p. 53)
    • "'you'll stay right here with me, anne-girl,' said gilbert lazily. 'i won't have you flying away from me into the hearts of storms.'" (p. 58)
    • "'was that the only dream of yours that has come true?' asked anne, who knew perfectly well what the substance of his answer would be, but wanted to hear it again. 'you know, anne-girl,' said gilbert, smiling into her eyes. at that moment there were certainly two perfectly happy people sitting on the doorstep of a little white house on the four winds harbour shore." (p. 59)
    • "'i'd be real happy even if we couldn't talk at all, when i come here – jest to sit and look at you and your pictures and your flowers would be enough of a treat. it's beautiful – beautiful.'" (p. 71)
    • "'you should have had your palace really, though – you are so beautiful. you must let me say it - it has to be said – i'm nearly bursting with admiration. you are the loveliest thing i ever saw, mrs moore.'" (p. 86)
    • "'i wouldn't have your hair any colour but just what it is for the world,' said gilbert with one or two convincing accompaniments. 'you wouldn't be anne if you had golden hair – or hair of any colour but –' 'red,' said anne, with gloomy satisfaction. 'yes, red – to give warmth to that milk-white skin and those shining grey-green eyes of yours. golden hair wouldn't suit you at all, queen anne – my queen anne – queen of my heart and life and home.'" (p. 104)
    • "'you know i'd rather be your wife in our house of dreams and fulfilment than a queen in a palace.'" (p. 112)
    • "captain jim's small nephew joe had come down to spend new year's with his great-uncle, and had fallen asleep on the sofa with the first mate curled up in a huge golden ball at his feet. 'ain't he a dear little man?' said captain jim gloatingly. 'i do love to watch a little child asleep, mistress blythe. it's the most beautiful sight int he world, i reckon.'" (p. 123)
    • "'i don't know why i can't get closer to her,' anne said one evening to captain jim. 'i like her so much – i admire her so much – i want to take her right into my heart and creep right into hers.'" (p. 128)
    • "'i couldn't ever care for anyone else. lost margaret took my heart with her – out there,' said the old lover, who had been faithful for fifty years to his drowned sweetheart.'" (p. 151)
    • "'i would come here and see you and gilbert with your books and your flowers, and your household gods, and your little family jokes – and your love for each other showing in every look and word, even when you didn't know it.'" (p. 155)
    • "'you know me now, anne – the worst of me – the barriers are all down. and you still want to be my friend?' 'i am your friend and you are mine, for always,' she said. 'such a friend as i never had before. i have had many dear and beloved friends - but there is something in you, leslie, that i never found in anyone else. you have more to offer me in that rich nature of yours, and i have more to give you than i had in my careless girlhood. we are both women – and friends for ever.' they clasped hands and smiled at each other through the tears that filled the grey eyes and the blue." (p. 159)
    • "'life here with just the two of us is so sweet, gilbert. it spoils it a little to have anyone else.'" (p. 159)
    • "'your grandmother shines like a star in his memory.'" (p. 168)
    • "'who is that beautiful creature?' he asked. 'that is mrs moore,' said anne. 'she is very lovely, isn't she?' 'i – i never saw anything like her,' he answered, rather dazedly. 'i wasn't prepared – i didn't expect – good heavens, one doesn't expect a goddess for a landlady! why, if she were clothed in a gown of sea-purple, with a rope of amethysts in her hair, she would be a veritable sea-queen.'" (p. 169-170)
    • "'lad, your grandfather was my dearest friend. i thought there was nobody like him. i see now why i had to wait so long. it couldn't be writ till the right man come. you belong here - you've got the soul of this old north shore in you – you're the only one who could write it.'" (p. 180)
    • "'her beauty is the least of her dower – and she is the most beautiful woman i've ever known. that laugh of hers! i've angled all summer to evoke that laugh, just for the delight of hearing it.'" (p. 186)
    • "'did you ever see her hair down, mrs blythe?' 'no.' 'i did – once. i had gone down to the point to go fishing with captain jim, but it was too rough to go out, so i came back. she had taken the opportunity of what she expected to be an afternoon alone to wash her hair, and she was standing on the veranda in the sunshine to dry it. it fell all about her in a fountain of living gold. when she saw me she hurried in, and the wind caught her hair and swirled it all around her - danaë in her cloud. somehow, just then the knowledge that i loved her came home to me – and i realized that i had loved her from the moment i first saw her standing against the darkness in that glow of light.'" (p. 186)
    • "'ah, leslie, what are the red roses?' 'love triumphant,' said leslie in a low voice. 'yes - love triumphant and perfect. leslie, you know - you understand. i have loved you from the first. and i know you love me – i don't need to ask you. but i want to hear you say it – my darling – my darling!' leslie said something in a very low and tremulous voice. their hands and lips met; it was life's supreme moment for them, and as they stood there in the old garden, with its many years of love and delight and sorrow and glory, he crowned her shining hair with the red, red rose of a love triumphant." (p. 259)
    • "'perhaps captain jim sees us both through the rose-coloured spectacles of his love for us. but we can try to live up to his belief in us, at least.'" (p. 261)
  • the magician's nephew, c. s. lewis
    • "both of them, without quite knowing why, were talking in whispers. and though there was no reason why they should still go on holding hands after their jump, they didn't let go." (p. 31)
  • the turn of the screw, henry james
    • "'i liked her extremely and am glad to this day to think she liked me, too.'" (p. 13)
    • "she held me there a moment, then whisked up her apron again with her detached hand. 'would you mind, miss, if i used the freedom-' 'to kiss me? no!' i took the good creature in my arms and, after we had embraced like sisters, felt still more fortified and indignant." (p. 44)
    • "i had dropped, with the joy of her reappearance, back into my chair - feeling then, and then only, a little faint; and she had pattered straight over to me, thrown herself upon my knee, given herself to be held with the flame of the candle full in the wonderful little face that was still flushed with sleep." (p. 115)
    • "'what is it,' i asked, 'that you think of?' 'what in the world, my dear, but you?'" (p. 169)
  • the silent patient, alex michaelides
    • "i felt an unfamiliar happiness just being in her company, as though a secret door had been opened, and kathy had beckoned me across the threshold – into a magical world of warmth and light and color, and hundreds of orchids in a dazzling confetti of blues and reds and yellows. i could feel myself thawing in the heat, softening around the edges, like a tortoise emerging into the sun after a long winter's sleep, blinking and waking up. kathy did that for me – she was my invitation to life." (p. 49)
    • "we were married in april, in a small registry office off euston square. no parents invited. and no god. nothing religious, at kathy's insistence. but i said a secret prayer during the ceremony. i silently thanked him for giving me such unexpected, undeserved happiness. i saw things clearly now, i understood his greater purpose. god hadn't abandoned me during my childhood, when i had felt so alone and so scared – he had been keeping kathy hidden up his sleeve, waiting to produce her, like a deft magician. i felt such humility and gratitude for every second we spent together." (p. 51)
  • reprieve, james han mattson
    • "jaidee thought the task relatively elementary, but no matter; he'd seen the hearts. his entire world was now different. he would do anything victor asked of him." (p. 57)
    • "he laughed, draped himself around her, peppered her neck with kisses. he felt, then, inordinately happy, inordinately lucky; he'd never met a woman who'd lifted his spirits so constantly, and he wondered how he'd gone through four decades of life without experiencing such bliss: it seemed that if everyone felt this way all the time, if everyone understood this sort of unbridled joy, that nobody would ever fight, and nobody would ever die." (p. 70)
    • "and as the sky dimmed, the gray-white waves changing from violent outbursts to mere background noise, as they chewed their seafood, drank their wine, smiled coyly at each other, he thought how strange it was that true happiness could arise from the dreariest of circumstances, that a simple look, a tiny flicker of the eyes, a momentary vision of love, could erase any overly complex environment, could simplify a setting so completely that the world itself could dissolve into one remarkably enormous hoax, flattening and funneling around a singular entity: this person who genuinely, authentically wanted to be a part of your life." (p. 95)
  • bitter, akwaeke emezi
    • "you couldn't help but feel safe around her, not because she was soft or anything, but because there was something behind her dark skin, something terrifying that leaked through her gray eyes and made everyone uncomfortably aware that her kindness was a deliberate choice. it also made them feel safe, like she would go to horrific lengths to protect them, and that was what they needed, someone who believed they were worth burning the world down for." (p. 6)
    • "bitter felt her pulse quicken as his eyes met hers - there was something tender about how he was looking at her, and she wondered if he looked at the rest of the world the same way. the boy held out his hand, and when bitter slid her palm into his, part of her chest exhaled without her, a locked fraction of her spine unwound and clicked free. she could hear blessing's voice as if it was filtered, and the boy's gap-toothed smile was breaking open again, but this time it was just for her, and it felt like it was happening in slow motion, a prolonged dazzling." (p. 16)
    • "'hey.' aloe touched her wrist lightly, and bitter looked up to see him staring at her, his own eyes damp. 'can i give you a hug?' he asked, his voice tentative. 'please?' she was so surprised that he was crying, all she could do was nod, and then aloe was wrapping his arms around her, swallowing her up in his wingspan, in his broad shoulders and chest, anchoring her. bitter felt her heart wrench - he was hugging her like he needed to be held too, so she slid her arms around his ribs, smelling the lemon of his shirt, his back wide under her hands." (p. 42)
    • "when aloe pulled her off the sofa, bitter stumbled as she stood up, catching herself against his chest. time staggered to a halt as she realized that his face was now just a breath away from hers. the air thickened into honey, and bitter looked up into aloe's eyes, flecks of light reflected in the soft brown. his face had shifted, his pupils dilating as he reached up a hand and brushed his fingers along bitter's jaw, sending rippling goosebumps over his skin. 'you are so beautiful,' he said, his gaze bathing her face like light. 'is it okay if i kiss you?'" (p. 44)
    • "bitter made her way past the secretary's amused look, and sure enough, aloe was sitting in the waiting area, holding a small gift bag on his knees. he raised his head as bitter emerged from the office, and his face broke into a huge smile. it made blood rush to bitter's face, how openly aloe showed his pleasure at her presence. sometimes she wondered how he found the courage to flash emotions as if no one could hurt him with them. he unfolded from his seat and held out his arms for a hug. 'hey, gorgeous,' he said." (p. 52)
    • "aloe had drum circle in a few minutes, but he'd insisted on walking bitter from miss virtue's office to blessing's studio just so he could steal a little more time with her." (p. 53)
    • "'we will never cast you aside,' miss virtue had said, and something about her voice seemed to reverberate through bitter's room, like it was layering over itself, like it was a spell. 'you will always have this room, come hell or high water.'" (p. 160)
    • "'yuh real important to me, you know?' aloe laughed, the sound bubbling up through his teeth. 'bitter, you are my whole heart. i wish i could tell our kids everything about you one day.'" (p. 260)
    • "bitter had never been the one who said the romantic things in their relationship. that was always aloe, the dreamer, the soft and hopeful one. but in these days, her feelings were clear and precise, and she was no longer afraid. 'i'll love you in any world,' she whispered. 'i promise.' aloe stroked her cheek and leaned in to kiss her. 'i'm going to hold you to that.'" (p. 261)
  • fledgling, octavia e. butler
    • "'i don't want to lose you. i truly don't. i've only known you for a few days, but i know i want you with me.' i kissed his hand, glad of his decision. it would have been hard to let him go – perhaps the hardest thing i could recall doing. i would have done it, but it would have been terrible. all i could do now was make things as safe as possible for both of us." (p. 55)
    • "the moment i recognized the car and caught his scent, i could hardly wait to see him. the instant he stopped the car, i pulled the passenger door open and slid inside. he was there, smelling worried and nervous. and somehow he didn't see me until i was sitting next to him, closing the door. he jumped, then grabbed me and yanked me into a huge hug. i found myself laughing as he examined me, checked my leg, then the rest of me. 'i'm fine,' i said, and kissed him and felt alarmingly glad to see him. 'let's go home,' i said at last. 'i want a hot bath, and then i want you.' he held me in his lap, and i was surprised that he had managed to move me there without my realizing it. 'anytime,' he said. 'now, if you like.'" (p. 60-61)
    • "after a moment, he said, 'i want you for myself. it scares me how much i love you, shori.'" (p. 163)
    • "'he helped me, joel. when i had no one else, when i had no idea who or what i was, he helped me.'" (p. 165)
    • "'i want to be with you,' she said. 'it's all i've wanted since you first came to me. i don't truly understand my feelings for you, but they're stronger than anything i've ever felt, stronger than anything i ever expected to feel. we'll find a way.'" (p. 206)
    • "she held me as though she thought i might leave her too soon. she held me as though laying claim to me." (p. 254)
    • "when we were alone, wright pulled me to him and hugged me and held me for a while. i felt as though i wanted to stay that way, safe with him, breathing his good, familiar scent. it mattered more than i would have thought possible that he was alive, that he loved me and wanted somehow to comfort me. i knew that if i let him, he would take me home and put me to bed and stay with me until i fell asleep. i knew he would do that because i had come to know him that well." (p. 261)
  • planet of exile, ursula k. le guin
    • "he held her against him telling her quietly that he would come back. as he spoke she felt the beating of his heart and the beating of her own. 'i want to stay with you,' she said, and he was saying, 'i want to stay with you.'" (p. 151)
    • "ever since he had seen her face, on the black steps over the tide, he had thought of her and yearned to see her, like an adolescent mooning after his first girl." (p. 153)
    • "tonight he would meet her again, for the same reason. at the thought, a flood of warm light and an aching joy ran through his body and mind; he ignored it. tomorrow he was off to the north, and if he came back, then there would be no time to explain to the girl that there could be no more such nights, no more lying together on his fur cloak in the shelter in the forest's heart, starlight overhead and the cold and the great silence all around... no, no more... the absolute happiness she had given him came up in him like a tide, drowning all thought." (p. 153-154)
    • "she said to him with the mindspeech, unbelievingly, how could you do this? you were always a proud man, jakob! he replied the same way, wordlessly. put into words what he told her was: i can't get on without her." (p. 157)
    • "in her presence both guilt and pain eased off and took their due proportion. with her, he was himself. he spoke her name aloud. 'oh, sleep now, it hurts you to talk,' she said with a flicker of her timid mockery. 'will you stay?' he asked. 'yes.' 'as my wife,' he insisted, reduced by necessity and pain to the essential." (p. 159)
    • "he felt a tenderness towards her which he hardly knew how to express. without intent he said her name not aloud but paraverbally. at once she turned to him in the darkness of the hall; in the darkness, she looked into his face. the house and city were silent around them. in his mind her heard her say his own name, like a whisper in the night, like a touch across the abyss. 'you bespoke me,' he said aloud, unnerved, marveling." (p. 178)
    • "among them he saw his wife coming towards him, as he had hoped to see her. the sight, the real certain sight of her, did not rouse in hm that bitter tenderness he felt when he thought about her: instead it simply gave him intense pleasure." (p. 196)
    • "'i heard you.' 'yes. and you bespoke me - once, in my house. it happens sometimes between two people: there are no barriers, no defenses.' he drained his cup and looked up broodingly at the pattern of sun and jeweled circling worlds on the long wall across the room. 'when that happens,' he said, 'it's necessary that they love each other. necessary.'" (p. 202)
  • city of illusions, ursula k. le guin
    • "parth looked at him, saying nothing. a great part of all he knew had come straight from her, for she had always been the one who could teach him. the remaking of his life had been an effect and part of the growth of her own. their minds were very closely interwoven." (p. 222)
    • "falk and parth lay back down in the warmth and the infinite comfort of each other's arms; only half wakened, falk slipped back into sleep. when she kissed him and slipped away to go about the day's work he murmured, 'don't go yet... little hawk, little one...'" (p. 223)
    • "'sometimes i've thought, have you? that you may have had a wife. think, if she was waiting for you...' she shivered. 'what of it?' he said. 'what do i care about what may have been, what i was? why should i go from here? all that i am now is yours, parth, came from you.'" (p. 232)
    • "he rose and came to her beside the fire. 'my friend, my love,' he said, taking her hand a moment. they sat down side by side and shared their meat, and later their sleep." (p. 281)
    • "'she has given me help, and hope; we are companions. there is trust between us – how can i break it?'" (p. 290)
    • "'i will weave black cloth to wear,' she had said, and remembering that he chose, from all the lovely rainbow of robes and gowns and clothing, black breeches and dark shirt and a short black cloak of wintercloth." (p. 325)
  • dracula, bram stoker
    • "then the count turned, after looking at my face attentively, and said in a soft whisper: 'yes, i too can love.'" (p. 43)
    • "'what can i do?' asked arthur hoarsely. 'tell me, and i shall do it. my life is hers, and i would give the last drop of blood in my body for her.'" (p. 130)
    • "'i know now how i suffered,' he said, as he dried his eyes, 'but i do not know even yet – and none other can ever know – how much your sweet sympathy has been to me to-day. i shall know better in time; and believe me that, though i am not ungrateful now, my gratitude will grow with my understanding. you will let me be like a brother, will you not, for all our lives?'" (p. 248)
  • the city we became, n. k. jemisin
    • "she is brooklyn, and she is mighty, and in this instant he cannot help but love her, stranger or not." (p. 109)
    • "i'm his, he thinks suddenly, wildly. i want to be... oh, god, i want to be his. i live for him and will die for him if he requires it, and oh yes, i'll kill for him, too, he needs that, and so for him and him alone i will be again the monster that i am." (p. 240)
    • "'let her rest,' says manhattan. brooklyn feels his hand touch hers, and something from him flows into her. she twitches a little in reaction, because so much of him disturbs her on a fundamental level – but his voice is kind, and it is good to know that she doesn't have to fight alone." (p. 273)
    • "bronca snorts. 'you're the one who's in love with him, mannahatta.' 'not suicidally,' manny snaps, although he's also blushing. 'what good does it do me to save his life and then die at his feet? i want... more than that.' jesus. he's going to blow some blood vessels. but it's the truth. 'i'm going to fight for more than that.'" (p. 442)
  • house of leaves, mark z. danielewski
    • "'he can let someone else take over now. it won't kill him, but losing him would kill them. it would kill me too. i want to grow old, tom. i want to grow old with him. is that such an awful thing?'" (p. 86)
    • "you are my flesh. you are my bones. i know you too well. i read you too perfectly." (p. 600)
    • "donnie had instances like that. when he spoke of flying - his only real love – he too could still the world. you, however, seem to manage it for everything." (p. 605)
    • "there's no second i've lived you can't call your own." (p. 393)
  • the loop, jeremy robert johnson
    • "lucy walked out to the kitchen and watched their love for her soften both of their faces." (p. 39)
    • "i love you and i will always love you for saving me, even if i don't feel safe right now." (p. 40)
    • "looking at him she felt paralyzed in her own way by how pure the hendersons' love for her had always been. she thought about all the times where she'd wondered if she could return that love, and how she hated herself when she couldn't. worse, they knew how she'd lived as a young child, so they understood why she was distant and loved her still, and always." (p. 105)
    • "'please, brewer.' she placed her left hand on his leg and watched his face loosen at her touch. based on the way he'd looked at her in the house, during the attack, she'd half expected him to flinch. instead he sighed at the contact." (p. 125)
    • "why had the will to live drained from her, but the will to protect these poor, terrified boys was flooding into her mind and aching body? they're all i've got now." (p. 145-146)
    • "'and i don't know if i can do this without you. i didn't think i would have to. but i hope you hear me, bucket. i hope you do. because i love you, and i want you to know that you were a good person while you were here, okay? you were good.'" (p. 182)
    • "'where were you?' whispered lucy. 'i, uh... i used that shawl to cover bucket. seemed right.' lucy wondered for a moment where and how this boy found the decency and kindness that he radiated, and she felt a little less alone." (p. 185)
    • "then she thought of bucket, and how they had made islands of each other, each one a safe place for the other to weather the petty day-to-day violence of growing up in turner falls, and she felt that there had to be so many other people like him, out there in the world – trying to get by, trying to be kind." (p. 234)
    • "and she wanted to say so much to brewer, to find a way to make his heart full, to thank him for saving her from the swarm, to thank him for pulling the oracle from her neck, to tell him he's been good like his grandma had taught him, to say, 'worst. date. ever,' and know that he would laugh, to tell him he was kind and strong and that she truly loved him in a way she'd never loved another human being." (p. 302)
  • gifts, ursula k. le guin
    • "'it's you must forgive my clumsiness, orrec,' emmon said after a little silence of surprise, and his voice was so warm, with the courtesy and softness of the lowlands in it, like my mother's voice, that my eyes prickled with tears under the seal that shut them." (p. 8)
    • "he loved to listen to her. she talked like a little stream running, clearly and merrily, with the lowland softness and fluency. to people in the cities, talk is an art and a pleasure, not a matter of mere use and need. she brought that art and pleasure to caspromant. she was the light of my father's eyes." (p. 48)
    • "after the threats and passions and cruelties of drummant, gry's clear love and kindness, and the calm, trusting, trustworthy response of the dog, were too much for me." (p. 173)
    • "the cook stuffed us with rabbit pie. gry said i was a disgusting sight with gravy all over my face, and she i said let her try eating what she couldn't see, and she said she had tried it - she had blindfolded herself for a full day, to find what it was like for me." (p. 175)
    • "when canoc came in that night, i wanted to thank him. i wanted to go to him and put my arms around him. but i was afraid of blundering in my blindness, afraid of making a clumsy move, afraid he did not want me to touch him." (p. 209)
    • "i heard her come, the light clatter of star's hoofs in the courtyard, gry's voice, sosso greeting her and saying, 'he's where he always is' - and then her hand on my shoulder; but more, this time; she leaned down and kissed my cheek. i had not been kissed, i had scarcely been touched, by any human being since my mother's death. the touch ran through my body like lightning through a cloud. i caught my breath with the shock and sweetness of it." (p. 213)
    • "everything was bright, moving, shining. i looked up at gry. she was tall, with a thin, long, brown face, a wide, thin mouth, and dark eyes under arched eyebrows. the whites of her eyes were very clear. her hair was shining black, falling loose and heavy. i put out my hands to her, and she took them. i put my face down into her hands. 'you are beautiful,' i whispered into her hands. she leaned forward to kiss my hair, and sat up straight again, serious, stern, and tender. 'orrec,' she said, 'what are we going to do?' i said, 'i'm going to look at you for a year. then i'm going to marry you.'" (p. 253)
    • "'i won't hurt you, father.' 'i never thought you would,' he said." (p. 257)
  • voices, ursula k. le guin
    • "the waylord got down somehow on his broken knees so that he could put his arms around me. i wept against his chest. he said nothing, but held me in a strong embrace until at last i could stop sobbing." (p. 12)
    • "'i'm very sorry, waylord,' i said. i was ashamed to have troubled him with my being there and my tears. i loved and honored him with all my heart and wanted to show my love by helping and serving him, not by worrying and disturbing him. 'there's a good deal to weep about, memer,' he said in his quiet voice. looking at him then i saw that he had cried, too, when i did." (p. 12)
    • "i liked her. i'd liked her from the moment i saw her standing beside her lion. i liked the way she talked and what she said and everything about her." (p. 48)
    • "at that i wanted to give all my heart to her, to him." (p. 58)
    • "'memer is my hands and half my head. she is not the daughter of my body, but of my house and heart. her gods and ancestors are mine.'" (p. 62)
    • "there was something in her voice; it wasn't as beautiful as her husband's voice, but there was something in it that relieved me, quieted me, the way touching the lion's fur did." (p. 83)
    • "he had said my name with such tenderness that it almost frightened me... 'you were my comfort,' he said, 'my dear comfort.'" (p. 165)
    • "'if i go tomorrow i will go alone,' orrec said, but the waylord smiled a little and looked at gry. 'you go i go,' she said. 'you know that.' after a while orrec said, 'yes, i do.'" (p. 206)
    • "'would you think of coming with us?' ... 'i would go with you anywhere, gry.'" (p. 327-328)
  • summer of night, dan simmons
    • "when he finally got up to turn out the light, lawrence extended his hand across the gap between their beds. lawrence usually wanted to hold hands while falling asleep - it was the one risk he took with something grabbing him - but most times, dale told him no. tonight he held his little brother's hand." (p. 101)
  • piranesi, susanna clarke
    • "'but what i value even more than the shoes themselves is the proof they give of our friendship! i consider the possession of such a friend as you to be one of the greatest happinesses of my life!'" (p. 47)
    • "'don't disappear,' i tell her sternly. 'do not disappear.'" (p. 341)
  • jazz, toni morrison
    • "i have stood in cane fields in the middle of the night when the sound of it rustling hid the slither of the snakes and i stood still waiting for him and not stirring a speck in case he was near and i would miss him, and damn the snakes my man was coming for me and who or what was going to keep me from him?" (p. 96)
    • "my joe trace, my virginia joe trace who carried a light inside him, whose shoulders were razor sharp and who looked at me with two-color eyes and never saw anybody else. could she have looked at him and seen that?" (p. 96)
    • "violet always believed that because their first conversation began in the dark (when neither could see much more of the other than silhouette) and ended in a green-and-white dawn, nighttime was never the same for her. never again would she wake struggling against the pull of a narrow well." (p. 104)
    • "his name was joseph, and even before the sun rose, when it was still hidden in the woods, but freshening the world's green and dazzling acres of white cotton against the gash of a ruby horizon, violet claimed him. hadn't he fallen practically into her lap? hadn't he stayed?" (p. 105)
    • "'you looked at me then like you knew me, and i thought it really was eden, and i couldn't take your eyes in because i was loving the hoof marks on your cheeks.'" (p. 133)
    • "'i chose you. nobody gave you to me. nobody said that's the one for you. i picked you out... don't think i ever fell for you, or fell over you. i didn't fall in love. i rose in it. i saw you and made up my mind. my mind. and i made up my mind to follow you too.'" (p. 135)
    • "i want to dream a nice dream for him, and another of him. lie down next to him, a wrinkle in the sheet, and contemplate his pain and by doing so ease it, diminish it. i want to be the language that wishes him well, speaks his name, wakes him when his eyes need to be open." (p. 161)
    • "i envy them their public love. i myself have only known it in secret, shared in secret and longed, aw longed to show it - to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say at all: that i have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. that i want you to love me back and show it to me. that i love the way you hold me, how close you let me be to you. i like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. i have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me." (p. 229)
  • the diviners, libba bray
    • "'i can't imagine anybody ever leaving you,' memphis said with such sincerity that theta felt a catch in her chest." (p. 370)
    • "'i can't,' she said. 'don't worry. i'm with you,' jericho said, positioning himself between her and the men." (p. 471)
jan 2 2022 ∞
aug 4 2022 +