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Barbara Cohen quotes (showing 1-19 of 19)

“Listen to me, Amin," I said slowly. "Listen to me very carefully. Nothing is the same. Nothing will ever be the same again. There lives on this earth a woman who can be my friend and my lover. Do you understand that? Do you understand what a marvelous thing that is?"

"A friend is a friend," Uthman interrupted, "and a woman is a woman. You can't have them in one person. The whole world knows that."

"If that's what the whole world knows, ...then the whole world is wrong. I believed the whole world, and I lost her.”
Barbara Cohen, Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
“I cried for a little while, taking a kind of melancholy delight in my own tears, and then I fell asleep.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“It was the face that disturbed me. The artist had lit it in such a way that it appeared very strong, actually, to my mind, brutal. The nose was long and thin, the full underlip protruberant [sic], and the blue eyes icy cold. There was a great deal of pride in his look - more than pride, arrogance, rather. I wondered if it were only animals he had hunted with that gun.
Yet there was no doubt that the face was well done. The contrast between light and dark was evidence enough of the artist's skill. The man, I thought, must have actually been proud of the insolence and brutality which I saw in his face. Otherwise he would never have let the artist depict so clearly those aspects of his character.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Change is the law of life,' she said quietly.
'On the other hand,' I protested, 'some things don't change fast enough!'
'Like what?' Mother asked.
'Like fat, funny-looking me!'
Mother snorted. 'You're extremely good-looking. All my children are.' I expected her to add, 'I wouldn't have it any other way,' but she said, instead, 'If you think you're too heavy, lose some weight.'
'Easier said than done,' I muttered.
'If there's one thing I can't bear,' Mother scolded, 'it's self-pity, particularly from one who has no reason to pity herself. Are you crippled? Are you stupid? Are you hungry, or ill-clothed? If you were then you'd have something to gripe about. You're fatherless, it's true, but then I'm husbandless. Somehow, we manage.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“We had all commenced that thrusting and parrying that always goes on when you meet new people. How I hated those games. I wondered if they went on forever. Did you ever grow up enough not to have to jockey for position? Could you ever just say, 'Hi, I'm Rachel Gold. I like to read and eat. Who are you?”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Just then Rosie skipped down the stairs and across the lobby. Rosie never walked - she tripped or skipped or danced.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“My secret love, Billy Colbert, had to make up the same test.
Afterward, we left the chemistry lab together. 'Well, it was long,' Billy said, 'but it wasn't hard.'
'I thought it was long *and* hard,' I replied.
'Oh, cut it out, Rachel,' Billy remonstrated. 'If there's one thing I can't stand, it's brains who pretend they suffer just as much as the rest of us.'
'I'm not a brain in chemistry,' I protested. 'If I get good grades in science or math, it's because I work. You're the brain in chemistry. I hate that word, brain, anyway. Everyone has a brain, and they're all about the same size, even a moron's.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“I want my new friends and my old friends to get together,' she said, 'so we're going to have a shoe dance. All the guys take off one shoe and put it in the middle of the floor. All the girls pick a shoe, find its mate, and dance with the fellow who's wearing it.'
Without a second's hesitation, I glanced over at Billy. He was standing next to Sally at the victrola. His saddle shoes were black and white, not brown and white, and very dirty. I memorized the dirt.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Why, Tess,' Billy said, with exaggerated surprise, 'aren't you just crazy about being a cheerleader?'
'Oh, I love it,' she responded derisively. 'All this rah-rah stuff is for infants. I'm sick of it.' I could hardly believe my ears. How could anyone get sick of being part of the most prestigious group of females in the school? I mean, in my own thoughts, I could make fun of cheerleading as a mindless activity, but I couldn't sneer at the popularity and adoration the cheerleaders received as their due. I couldn't be that dishonest with myself.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“She chattered on about the Inn. 'I'm a genius,' she said. 'I got three hundred people into two rooms that were meant to hold two hundred and fifty. And they're happy. Deep down, people are really sardines. They love being squeezed together.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“I'm a superior foot massager,' Mr. Jensen said [to Mother]. 'Later, I'll show you my license.' He laughed, and his eyes glinted. I looked from them up into the eyes of the portrait, into Sir Baldwin's eyes. Baldy wasn't smiling, but it seemed to me that the glint in his eyes was the same as the glint in Mr. Jensen's. Mr. Jensen was generous and good-natured. Sir Baldwin was cruel and arrogant. But the glint in their eyes was the same. 'Be careful,' I said suddenly to Mr. Jensen. 'Be careful or Baldy will get you.'
The glint faded and was replaced by a look of concern. 'Baldy?' Mr. Jensen asked.
'Sir Baldwin MacClough,' I said. 'The man in the painting.'
'But why would he want to get me?' Mr. Jensen asked, humoring me.
'Mother's in love with him,' I said. 'He looks to me to be a jealous type.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Mrs. Littnauer must have brought thirty dresses back to the fitting room for me to try on. But most of them weren't right on me. I was sixteen years old and a size sixteen, not, after all, a very promising combination. There was one rose velvet thing with a white lace collar and cuffs, cut in a princess line, which didn't look bad, but there was nothing at all sophisticated about it ... 'Put me in a pair of Mary Janes and I'll look like a five-year-old from Brobdingnag,' I said.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“The nice thing about a round table is that it can seat an almost infinite number of people, as King Arthur found out long ago.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Once you start in with sex,' she replied slowly, 'it's hard to stop. It gets to be something you find it difficult to do without.'
'It's that good, huh?' Perhaps once they got past their eighteenth year, boy's hands and mouths no longer felt so damp.
'Well,' she continued, choosing her words with care, 'not necessarily at first. You see, I think you need a lover you're really fond of, and one who's very fond of you. Because, well ... in the beginning it takes a certain amount of patience. But then, once you know what you're doing, it's wonderful. Really, it's the best thing in the world. So you don't want to give it up. That's why I think it's best to wait until you're married to get started.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“In the Holiday Room, the frozen, blackened drapes were pasted against the window frames. The white tablecloths were so stiff they looked as if they were made of painted wood instead of fabric. Bits of burst balloons lay among the soot-coated silver and glassware on the tables. The room was haunted by ghosts - ghosts of all the New Year's party guests who'd never come. It seemed to wait for them yet. THe room itself could not understand what had happened. It would wait forever, with its silverware and glasses and salt and pepper shakers and icy, immovable tablecloths and napkins.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“Most of the time when you talk to people, nothing happens. It's all just, 'Pass me the salt,' and 'Remember to pick up some shampoo for me when you go to the drugstore.' But, when I talked to Jeff, I felt that he was touching my mind and I was touching his.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“It's amazing what you have to buy after a fire has completely wiped you out - things you never think about, like toothbrushes and boots and a dictionary. Of course, people gave us things, but mostly they didn't fit, and Mother said this was no time for us to go around looking like orphans of the storm.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“We didn't sit down after the waltz because the next set was fox trots. Someone had turned out the overhead lights and only the candles on the tables glimmered in the darkened room. Jeff held me very close to him and we moved silently through the dimness.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter
“What did he give you?' I asked Rosie.
'A birthday present,' Rosie replied. 'He said not to open it until December 8.'
'You're not going to listen to him, are you?' I asked.
'Of course I am,' Rosie said. 'What would be the point of opening it today?'
I could not imagine such willpower ... 'Don't be disappointed,' I said, 'if there's something less than a diamond ring in that box.'
'Oh, I *know* what's in the box,' Rosie replied. 'I told him what I wanted.'
'Oh, my God, Rosie,' I exclaimed. 'You're impossible.' But my curiosity triumphed over my disapproval. 'What is it?'
'It's not a diamond ring,' she said smugly. 'It's a turquoise ring. Turquoise is my birthstone.'
'You're a con artist, Rosie,' I said, feeling equal parts of admiration and dismay. 'Do you think it's very nice of you to wheedle Mr. Jensen into buying you a turquoise ring?'
'He asked me what I wanted and I told him,' Rosie replied. 'I really don't see what's wrong with that. He didn't have to buy it if he didn't want to.'
'Maybe it isn't a turquoise ring at all,' I said. 'Maybe it's two pumpkin seeds.'
'Maybe it is,' Rosie agreed. 'We won't know until my birthday.' She ran off then to Mrs. Dunleigh and Buster, kneeling down beside the poor asthmatic creature and petting him as passionately as if he were the prize dog in the Westminster Kennel Club show.”
Barbara Cohen, The Innkeeper's Daughter


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