Eleanor Brown, fully Nora Eleanor Louisa Hervey Brown
Sisters keep secrets. Because sisters' secrets are swords.
Despite his money and his looks and all the good-on-paper attributes he possessed, he was not a reader, and, well, let's just say that is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put.
The library drew Bean down the street, as it had drawn all of us over the years. Our parents had trained us to become readers, and the townâ€™s library had been the one place, other than church, that we visited every week.
Forgetting wasnâ€™t the same as being happy. Being drunk wasnâ€™t the same as forgetting â€¦ we were at our most miserable when weâ€™re doing it to ourselves.
The question to ask is what will satisfy you? What will bring you peace? And perhaps the answer to those is in asking yourself when you were last happy.
He had the singular ability to knock down her carefully bricked defenses, which was a compliment to them both and the secret to their love.
The wanderlust crept up again inside her like a shooting star, a sudden, violent urge to escape disappearing into darkness again. She pushed down the afterglow and focused.
How old were you when you first realized that your parents were human? That they were not omnipotent, that what they said did not, in fact, go, they had dreams and feelings and scars? Or have you not realized that yet? Do you still call your parents and have a one-sided conversation with them, child to parent, not adult to adult?
There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future.
I have loved this disaster of a library since I was old enough to read.
There is no problem that a library card can't solve.
I keep waiting to feel old, to feel like a grown-up, but I don't yet. Do you think that's the big secret adults keep from you? That you never feel like a grown-up?
There is nothing that is not beautiful about bread. The way it grows, from tiny grains, from bowls on the counter, from yeast blooming in a measuring cup like swampy islands. The way it fills a room, a house, a building, with its inimitable smells, submits to a firmly applied fist and contracts, swells again; the way it stretches and expands upon kneading, the warm, supple feel of it against skin. The sight of a warm roll on a table, the taste-sweet, sour, yeasty on the tongue.
Iâ€™m just like this speed bump in the middle, slowing everyone down because I keep fucking up.
These were the kind [of letters] you save, folded into a memory box, to be opened years later with fingers against crackling age, heart pounding with the sick desire to be possessed by memory.
Instead, we'd do what we always did, the only thing we'd ever been dependably stellar at: we'd read.
This conversation, you will not be surprised to know, was the impetus for their breakup, given that it caused her to realize the emotion that she had thought was her not liking him very much was, in fact, her not liking him at all. Because despite his money and his looks and all the good-on-paper attributes he possessed, he was not a reader, and, well, let's just say that is the sort of nonsense up with which we will not put.
Long ago she had thought bravery equaled wandering, the power was in the journey. Now she knew that, for her, it took no courage to leave; strength came from returning. Strength lay in staying.
We all have stories we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves we are too fat, too ugly, or too old, or too foolish. We tell ourselves these stories because they allow us to excuse our actions, and they allow us to pass off the responsibility for things we have done-maybe to something within our control, but anything other than the decisions we have made.
Not me, of course, as I am now officially a spinster librarian and must stay home with my cat and drink tea.
Oh honey, weâ€™re all fuckups in our own special ways.
We wear our names heavily. And though we have tried to escape their influence, they have seeped into us, and we find ourselves living their patterns again and again.
Our destiny is in the way we were born, in the way we were raised, in the sum of the three of us.
We were never organized readers who would see a book through to its end in any sory of logical order. We weave in and out of words like tourists on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Put a book down in the kitchen to go to the bathroom and you might return to find it gone, replaced by another of equal interest. We are indiscriminate.