She should have done science, not spent all her time with her head in novels. Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and they implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on.
I mean what else is there for a woman to do if she doesn't want to go from the parental to the marital home with nothing in between? 'An educated woman,'Millie amended. 'An educated woman,' Ursula agreed.
he inadvertently opened the door to a storeroom on the station and found it full of aircrew uniforms on hangers. He thought they must be replacement issue until he looked more closely and saw the brevets and stripes and ribbon medals and realized they had come off the bodies of the dead and injured. The empty uniforms would have provided a poetic image if he hadn’t more or less relinquished poetry by then.
Get down,' Bunty says grimly. 'Mummy's thinking.' (Although what Mummy's actually doing is wondering what it would be like if her entire family was wiped out and she could start again.)
She had one of those husky voices that sounded as if she were permanently coming down with a cold. Men seemed to find that sexy in a woman, which Jackson thought was odd because it made women sound less like women and more like men. Maybe it was a gay thing.
Patricia embraces me on the station platform. 'The past is what you leave behind in life, Ruby,' she says with the smile of a reincarnated lama. 'Nonsense, Patricia,' I tell her as I climb on board my train. 'The past's what you take with you.
Amelia envisaged that between York and the royal-infested Scottish Highlands there was a grimy wasteland of derelict cranes and abandoned mills and betrayed, yet still staunch, people. Oh and moorland, of course, vast tracts of brooding landscape under lowering skies, and across this heath strode brooding, lowering men intent on reaching their ancestral houses, where they were going to fling open doors and castigate orphaned yet resolute governesses. Or — preferably — the brooding, lowering men were on horseback, black horses with huge muscled haunches, glistening with sweat —
The clock had been Sylvie's, and her mother's before that. It had gone to Ursula on Sylvie's death and Ursula had left it to Teddy, and so it had zigzagged its way down the family tree......The clock was a good one, made by Frodsham and worth quite a bit, but Teddy knew if he gave it to Viola she would sell it or misplace it or break it and it seemed important to him that it stayed in the family. An heirloom. ('Lovely word,' Bertie said.) He liked to think that the little golden key that wound it, a key that would almost certainly be lost by Viola, would continue to be turned by the hand of someone who was part of the family, part of his blood. The red thread.
Or was it, as everyone told her, and as she must believe, all in her head? And so what if it was - wasn't everything in her head real too? What if there was no demonstrable reality? What if there was nothing beyond the mind?
And with a massive roar the fifth wall comes down and the house of fiction falls, taking Viola and Sunny and Bertie with it. They melt into thin air and disappear. Pouf!
Her true hope was that something would happen in the course of her time abroad that would mean she need never take the place. What that 'something' was she had no idea.
But I know nothing; my future is a wide-open vista, leading to an unknown country - The Rest Of My Life.
What would I put in my bottom drawer? – I would put only sharp objects, the clean lines of broken glass, the honed steel of paring knives, the tiny saw-teeth of bread knives and the soothing edges of razor blades, I weigh knives in my hands like strange comforters.
He had made a vow, a private promise to the world in the long dark watches of the night, that if he did survive then in the great afterward he would always try to be kind, to live a good, quiet life. Like Candide, he would cultivate his garden. quietly. And that would be his redemption. Even if he could add only a feather to the balance it would be some kind of repayment for being spared. When it was all over and the reckoning fell due, it may be that he would be in need of that feather.
All the birds who were never born, all the songs that were never sung and so can only exist in the imagination.And this one is Teddy's.
Small boys were a mystery to Sylvie. The satisfaction they gained from throwing sticks or stones for hours on end, the obsessive collection of inanimate objects, the brutal destruction of the fragile world around them, all seemed at odds with the men they were supposed to become.
He had been very keen on Esperanto, which had seemed an absurd eccentricity at the time but now Ursula thought it might be a good thing to have a universal language, as Latin had once been. Oh, yes, Miss Woolf said, a common language was a wonderful idea, but utterly utopian. All good ideas were, she said sadly.
Oh, man, ‘the nursery,’ ” Dominic said, “what a hell-hole. If I had kids I’d give them the nicest room in the house.”“You do have kids,” his kid said.“Oh, yeah, well, right, you know what I mean.
You must never believe everything they say about a person. Generally speaking, most of it will be lies, half-truths at best.
...and no man gave you a fur coat without expecting to receive something inreturn. Except for one's husband, of course, who expected nothing beyond modest gratitude.
If an author was a god, then he was a very poor second-rate one, scrabbling around in the foothills of Olympus.
In the half-century of his life, a tick on the Doomsday clock, he had borne witness to the most unbelievable technological advances. He had started off listening to an old Bush radio in the corner of the living room and now he had a phone in his hand on which he could pretend to throw a scrunched-up piece of paper into a waste bin. The world had waited a long time for that.
Twittering just seemed to be people telling other people what they were doing--getting in the shower, making coffee. Who on earth wanted to know these things?...Babble and twitter. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Secrets had the power to kill a marriage,she said. Nonsense, Sylvie said,it was secrets that could save a marriage.
This Henry lived in Edinburgh, making him inaccessible and giving her something to do on the weekends — 'Oh, just flying up to Scotland, Henry's taking me fishing,' which is the kind of thing she imagined people doing in Scotland — she always thought of the Queen Mother, incongruous in mackintosh and waders, standing in the middle of a shallow brown river (somewhere on the outskirts of Brigadoon, no doubt) and casting a line for trout.
She was a terrible mother, there was no doubt about it, but she didn't even have the strength to feel guilty.