Beautiful Words, pt. 9

From White Oleander by Janet Fitch. One of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.

“A person didn’t need to be beautiful, they just needed to be loved. But I couldn’t help wanting it. If that was the way I could be loved, to be beautiful, I’d take it.”

“This is how girls left. They packed up their suitcases and walked away in high heels. They pretended they weren’t crying, that it wasn’t the worst day of their lives.”

“…I thought love was like that, pulled out of the air, something bright and unlikely.”

“The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you wants, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”

“It smelled like stew, or meatloaf, the way time should smell, solid and nourishing.”

“I wished my life could be like that, knotted up so that even if something broke, the whole thing wouldn’t come apart.”

“That was the thing about words, they were clear and specific–chair, eye, stone–but when you talked about feelings, words were too stiff, they were this and not that, they couldn’t include all the meanings.”

“In Berlin, you had to wrestle with the past, you had to build the ruins inside them. It wasn’t like America, where we scraped the earth clean, thinking we could start again every time.”


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