My Sister’s Keeper

“My mother moves so fast I do not even see it coming. But she slaps my face hard enough to make my head snap backward. She leaves a print that stains me long after it has faded. Just so you know: shame is five-fingered.”

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult pg. 54


I Am The Messenger

“A dark wind makes it through the trees.

The sky is nervous. Black and blue.

My heart applauds inside my ears, first like a roaring crowd, then slows and slows till it’s a solitary person , clapping with unbridled sarcasm.”

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak pg. 132

The English Patient

“He glares out, each eye a path, down the long bed at the end of which is Hana.  After she has bathed him she breaks the tip off an ampoule and turns to him with the morphine.  An effigy. A bed.  He rides the boat of morphine.  It races in him, imploding time and geography the way maps compress the world onto a two-dimensional sheet of paper.”

from The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje pg. 161

The Book Thief

“Upon her arrival, you could still see the bite marks of snow on her hands and the frosty blood on her fingers. Everything about her was undernourished. Wirelike shins. Coat hanger arms. She did not produce it easily, but when it came, she had a starving smile.”

from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak pg. 31

The Blind Assassin

“Sometimes — increasingly, as time went by — there were bruises, purple, then blue, then yellow.  It was remarkable how easily I bruised, said Richard, smiling.  A mere touch would do it.  He had never known a woman to bruise so easily.  It came from being so young and delicate.

He favoured thighs, where it wouldn’t show.  Anything overt might get in the way of his ambitions.

I sometimes felt as if these marks on my body were a kind of code, which blossomed, then faded, like invisible ink held to a candle.  But if they were a code, who held the key to it?

I was sand, I was snow — written on, rewritten, smoothed over.”

from The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood pg. 371