The extraordinary author of "Cold Mountain" and "Thirteen Moons" returns with a dazzling new novel of suspense and love set in small-town North Carolina in the early 1960s.
Charles Frazier puts his remarkable gifts in the service of a lean, taut narrative while losing none of the... read more
“Not curators by nature, they reached for contact with her by deconstructing her things....The hatbox, with its octagonal walls and thick lid and double floor, became a flat stack of pasteboard, hunter green striped with cream. They separated the hat into its components, green felt and black satin and veiling. The locked white train case, nearly as big as the hatbox, took some work, but it finally yielded many fragrant tubes and boxes and squat cylinders and, finally, two pink circles of pleated satin lining. The locked pink case held hair, two blond wigs and a ponytail extension, plus circles of white lining. The lumpy fox stole with beady-eyed heads and dangling tails was tricky, but eventually, after much picking at stitching with the rusty nail, it became three separate flat animals with no insides. They continued their work until bits of Lily's life covered the smokehouse floor. Lily, though, stayed far away.”
“There's a kind of person that wants you to carry their troubles. If they can, they heap it every bit on you and walk away without a guilty look back. And if they can't do that, they lighten their own load by handing off a piece of woe to anybody who'll take it.”
“Easy to be disdainful and ironic toward others' false values. Still, Luce hoped that when she was at the same thin margin of life she would be concerned with looking out the window to note the weather or the shape of the moon or some lone bird flying by. Certainly not a bunch of worn-out teaspoons. But Luce was half century younger than old Stubblefield, and didn't know how she'd think and what she would value if she made it that far down the road.”
“A teacher has six hours a day for nine months of one year. And thirty children to deal with at a time. You do your best, and you expect the same of them. Then you pass them to the next grade and hope to do better with another bunch.”Luce's former teachers
“When Luce got back to the car, Stubblefield held up his book. He said, Fourty pages, and I'm feeling calm and melancholy. Like meditating, if I had the time to stick with it.”Stubblefield
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